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Saturday, April 27, 2013

Why we should support She Matters Cervical Cancer Foundation, Inc.

It has been months that I last attended an event but I thought that a cervical cancer awareness-related event was really worth supporting so I carried my feet to Choi City to learn more about She Matters Cervical Cancer Foundation, Incorporated (SMCCFI), a Cebu-based foundation.

Reaching the venue, I was glad to see that the group was able to successfully invite a good number of young bloggers who hopefully can spread the message that cervical cancer is preventable and something can be done about it.

It was my first time to meet their founder, Ms. Emee Y. Aquino. Nope, she is not a relative of Kris Aquino but like Kris, she is a good communicator. Her presentation conveyed to the young audience all the basic things one should know about cervical cancer, especially the prevention aspect. Miss Emee is a sister of a patient who succumbed to cervical cancer at age 41. Listening to Miss Emee, you can feel that she is really passionate about her advocacy. And what she's doing is not actually easy, mind you.

Ms. Emee Aquino addressing the young audience
Most of the attention when it comes to cancer awareness among women appears to be on breast cancer awareness where many OB-HYN doctors are already very actively involved. There is actually local support also for cervical cancer awareness among various groups but it is not yet as big as breast cancer's.

For one, it is hard to let cervical cancer survivors to talk as there perhaps for fear of being talked about falsely as having multiple sex partners. But one has to remember that anyone who has ever had sex may be at risk, even if one had only one sexual partner in his or her lifetime.

In Cebu, SMCCFI (to my knowledge) is the only foundation specifically for cervical cancer awareness. It is still a young foundation and it needs everyone's support -- from doctors, mothers, students and the community. Their page enumerates ways on how you can help SMCCFI.

So why should we care? Why should we support SMCCFI?
  • Because cervical cancer, next to breast cancer is the most common cancer among women between age 15 to 44 claiming 12 Filipina's lives everyday.
  • Because cervical cancer is often detected in the later stages when little can be done and mortality rate is high so that spreading awareness for prevention and means for early detection (Pap smear, HPV test) can greatly help lower the number of cases.
  • Because cervical cancer may affect you and your loved ones directly or indirectly.
  • Because cervical cancer which has an infectious etiology can be prevented and the means are available(example: vaccines).
  • Because SMCCFI with its dynamic and passionate core group can accomplish more things with your support.
 For more information about SMCCFI, visit their website and Facebook account.

For more info about human papillomavirus (HPV), the cause of cervical cancer, visit the CDC HPV website.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Philippine Elections 2013: Some sites to help you decide who to vote for as senator

In this edition of my blog, let me talk Philippine elections. Physicians and medical students are so busy with their profession or studies that they find little time to research for candidates' backgrounds. In this post I will provide some links to sites that may be good resource for knowing more the senatorial candidates at least.

In this elections, there are familiar names because the candidate is a relative of a current senator or major government official past or present. Well, you might decide to vote for them because of the winnability factor - because they are popular in the surveys, because they belong to a prominent family, because they are already famous, etc. But I say why not vote who you feel will best contribute to the betterment of the country even if you feel others will not vote for him or her. Let not surveys dictate who you will vote for. Nevermind if he or she is winnable or not. If everybody thinks this way (vote not according to popularity or winnability) then perhaps we will get the right people in power, don't you think?

So here is a site to acquaint yourself with lesser known candidates in Facebook.

You might want to vote candidates based on qualifications and experience, not popularity. There was a time that senators were selected among the most qualified. See for yourself this list of previous senators the likes of Jovito Salonga.

You might want to see their previous record in lawmaking or simply their attendance. There might be candidates who were known absentees in Congress so what will you expect from them in the Senate? Here is one news item about the absentees in Congress. Check the names of the absentees.

There might be candidates who are hiding something.

Some have been linked to offshore accounts and the possession of such are considered by some as "turn-offs" for voting a certain candidate.

A lot of candidates avoid discussing issues, debates, TV or media guestings or forums. They fear perhaps that their ignorance in certain issues will be revealed or they might encounter a "slip in the tongue" and their true selves will be revealed. Speaking of TV guestings, here is one that early on before the election campaign period started, invited senatorial candidates to their programs. Questions from panelists coming from the TV network, the audience and social media were asked these candidates and perhaps their answers will help you decide if you will vote for them. Just search "GMA Hiritan" in Google or go here.

There are other TV interviews and programs that you might want to watch. You might want to visit ABS-CBN or Rappler Election websites for example.

So there you have it. My simple election-related post to help physicians and busy persons know their candidates. Vote according to your conscience. Vote for who you really want. Vote NOT based on popularity and winnability. Vote wisely this coming election.


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