What exactly are the greater health benefits with using oral contraceptives, Dr. Cabral? Does anyone become healthier by using hormonal OCPs? This is “essential medicine”?
When asked whether it was true that oral contraceptives posed a higher risk of breast cancer, Cabral answered in the affirmative but quickly added that “all medical products have good and side (bad) effects.”
“Oral contraceptives have bad side effects but there are more good effects,” Cabral said.
She said that taking oral contraceptives may lower the incidence of certain cancers such as endometrial cancer by 50% and ovarian cancer by 40%.
So should our choice be between one cancer or another? How about no cancer at all except as what might naturally occur in the course of our lifetimes? How about proactively lowering our risk by not increasing our risk? Does that sound good? What does Senator Cayetano have to say about this?
This is dedicated to increase awareness on prevention of breast cancer through information and educational campaigns that reach out to all women throughout the world emphasizing the importance of early detection and treatment.
Furthermore, breast cancer remains the number one cancer killer among Filipino women, accounting for 28% of the total cases.
What is more alarming is that according to a report from the Philippine Breast Cancer Network, the Philippines now has the highest incidence rate of breast cancer in Asia and is also considered to have the 9th highest incidence rate in the world today. One out of four who are diagnosed with breast cancer die within the first five years and no less than 40% die within ten years. This is because breast cancer is often detected in its late stages due to low public awareness and lack of information about the disease.
Mr. President, diagnostic tests are more affordable than breast cancer treatment. For stage 1 and 2 breast cancer patients, treatment includes surgery which costs about Php 10,000.00 – 100,000.00 and chemotherapy which costs Php 5,000.00 per session or Php 30,000.00 for six cycles. For stage 3 breast cancer patients, surgery costs about Php 10,000.00 – 100,000.00 but chemotherapy would cost a patient Php 100,000.00 per session or Php 600,000.00 for six cycles. Lastly, stage 4 patients would also spend for surgery and chemotherapy. However, patients on this stage normally spend more as their medicines are more expensive because the cancer cells may have spread to the other parts of the body.
Senator Cayetano and Dr. Cabral, have you weighed the cost of treatment for any pill takers that do develop breast cancers? Even if only a small percentage of pill takers develop breast cancers, would the government be prepared to shoulder the expenses for their treatment? Would the government be willing to provide for the bereaved when these women die of breast cancer? Or will their lives be considered expendable because they’re poor?
Pro-RH Bill people claim the poor will simply be given “a choice”. Who are they fooling?
#1. If you’re a paid lackey and you get your salary based on how much you’re able to push contraceptives on people, would you really promote Natural Family Planning? Or will you more aggressively promote the method that puts the most money in your pocket? Human nature being what it is, and the RH bill being what it is, will the poor have any real choice in the matter?
#2. The RH bill is ALL ABOUT increasing contraceptive prevalence rates.
The Pro-RH side (including MSM who are supposed to be unbiased) keeps claiming that the RH bill will “provide universal access to medically-safe, legal, affordable, effective and quality RH services, methods, devices, supplies and relevant information and education with priority on the needs of women and children in underprivileged sectors.” Increased breast cancer risk = medically safe?
The government has a stop smoking campaign to decrease lung cancer risk. And yet they want to promote increased contraceptive use?
Since breast cancer is ALREADY the #1 cause of cancer deaths in the Philippines, wouldn’t the best strategy be RISK AVOIDANCE? Instead, we get more minimization of risk perception: a common coercion tactic.
Pro-RH Bill supporters. Aren’t they just a little bit, uhm… confused? Or perhaps more likely, simply looking out for No. 1?
More about Breast Cancer in the Philippines:
Breast Cancer in the Philippines
Philippine Breast Cancer Network
Breast cancer number 1 cause of cancer deaths in RP
Breast cancer is leading cause of cancer deaths in RP
ETA: How Many of Us Took Birth Control Pills? — a breast cancer forum