The month of May is Cervical Cancer Awareness Month in the Philippines. According to the World Health Organization, cervical cancer is the second most common cancer afflicting women worldwide. In the Philippines, an estimated 12 women die due to cervical cancer each day.
The Department of Health (DOH) and global pharmaceutical company Merck Sharp and Dohme (MSD), together with Philippine Obstetrical and Gynecological Society (POGS), Society of Gynecologic Oncologists of the Philippines (SGOP) and Philippine Society of Colposcopy and Cervical Pathology (PSCPC), are conducting free cervical cancer screening in selected hospitals nationwide. This is for the whole month of May. The screening is being done to help detect cervical cancer in its early stage, while still treatable and curable.
The free cervical cancer screening is offered to women aged 30-49 years old, and is done through either Pap smear or visual inspection using acetic acid (VIA).
The DOH and MSD will also provide free quadrivalent HPV vaccinations to 9,000 girls aged 13 years old this coming school year. Aside from cervical cancer, the quadrivalent HPV vaccine can also prevent vulvar and vaginal cancer, as well as genital warts. HPV is the most common sexually transmitted infection in both men and women.
The DOH hopes that through the yearly celebration of Cervical Cancer Awareness Month, more and more women will be educated and encouraged to undergo screening and vaccination.
Below are information materials regarding cervical cancer and the list of hospitals offering the free cervical cancer screening. To those who would like to avail of this free screening, go to the OB-GYNE department of the hospital. Please take note of designated days when the service is offered. You may also call the Department of Health to know more details.
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