Losing someone to cancer is so painful, especially if he or she is your loved one. With the threat and impact of this ever evolving disease, the best way to go on about it is still to prevent it (if we can) and of course to fight it.
A NEW Cancer Game Plan PH was disclosed July 2018 – a movement as well as an advocacy that aims to help arm patients with the necessary resources for them to effectively fight the dreaded disease. Its pillars of advocacy include the promotion of early detection through testing, the building of solid support systems that address patient needs from the onset, as well as increasing access to treatments which oftentimes cannot be availed of due to their costly nature.
Strong points we should look into when someone with cancer needs our help:
1. Keep an open mind for new therapies and treatments.
During the launch, experts highlighted existing targeted therapies and breakthrough new treatments – such as immunotherapy - that address a greater body of cancers, effectively helping many patients in their journey to be better. Cancer Game Plan PH also covers this scope in particular to include, in addition to lung cancer: melanoma, head and neck, gastric, bladder, and Hodgkin lymphoma types of cancers.
2. Approach the government for additional financial help, if needed.
Not everyone can afford medication. Dr. Clarito Cairo, Cancer Program Manager of the Dept. of Health gave an overview of the burden of cancer in the country and shared the cancer roadmap, which shows the ongoing initiatives of the government in battling cancer to address patients’ needs such broadening the coverage of the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation’s (PhilHealth) Z Benefit package.
3. Empower cancer patients by managing their communication, health, and emotional needs throughout their journey.
Cancer is not a joke and it can be physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually exhausting for both the patient and the people around the patient. Ms. Fatima “Girlie” Lorenzo, president of the Philippine Alliance of Patient Organizations also elaborated on the stages of the cancer patient journey and why it is crucial for key stakeholders, advocates, caregivers and family members to create a game plan to effectively help patients cope with the disease.
4. Secure your future with a life insurance if you can afford it.
Acquiring health insurance packages may help individuals and families prepare for the unforeseen effects of the disease but it is not necessarily a must.
Representative leaders from the Department of Health, Sun Life Insurance, Philippine Society of Medical Oncology and Cancer Coalition of the Philippines discussed the importance of early testing, increasing access to treatment options and improving overall survival of patients during the multi-stakeholder dialogue
5. Listen to people who know better.
Sometimes we tend to just listen to our instincts and rather side with hearsay from friends and relatives. We know that they care and we appreciate it but listening to people who know better is a better option. Meaning, people who went through it and survived and people who are medically knowledgeable about it. Hearing the heartfelt stories from Cancer Game Plan PH's new ambassadors totally moved me.
Cancer Game Plan PH new ambassadors Diego Castro, longtime lung cancer ambassador and a face of the Hope From Within: Test, Talk, Take Action campaign; television personality Susan Africa; medical oncologist and Kaalaman at Katotohanan Tungkol sa Kanser (KKK) Facebook community founder Dr. Meredith Garcia; multi-sport athlete and cancer survivor Louie Sangalang; Occupational Medicine specialist and breast cancer survivor Dr. Gia Sison, and melanoma survivor Danny Dimabuyu
The NEW Cancer Game Plan definitely emphasizes the deepened and expanded commitment to fight cancer, in the mission to save more lives in the country. Share this to someone who needs it and visit Hope From Within for more information. :)