Thursday, October 7, 2010

Women Heroes Unite for a Cervical Cancer-Free Philippines

Girls, have no fear against the top female preventable cancer – this band of women advocates is here.

Alarmed by statistics showing that cervical cancer claims the lives of twelve Pinays everyday, a group of passionate female fighters have taken up the cause to spread the message of cervical cancer among Filipinas in the country. United under the female anti-cervical cancer coalition Bravehearts, the advocates are taking their fight from the clinics to the streets.

During their recent event, “The Tour of Hope 360: Fighting Cervical Cancer in Full Circle” biking tour, the girls of Bravehearts went to key areas in Makati, Pampanga, Tarlac, Pangasinan, La Union, and Baguio. In every town hall, they shared the message that cervical cancer is easily preventable by vaccination, and that early detection will save them from the disease’s death sentence. They also raised nearly one (1) million in pledges and sponsorships to further spread the anti-cervical cancer message across the Philippines.

In the upcoming photo exhibit to be held at the Lobby of Greenbelt 3 on October 1 to 6, the girls have joined hands with master lensman Jun de Leon in showcasing the fruits of their efforts – just as they prepare for a grander biking tour next year.

“The message is very clear: cervical cancer is easily preventable, and women do not have to die from it,” proclaims Abbygale Arenas, Bravehearts representative. “By empowering Filipinas with information about this disease, we look forward to winning the battle versus cervical cancer.”

For celebrity photographer Jun de Leon, he believes that the camera is his tool in spreading awareness here in the country. “This advocacy is close to my heart and I have been a staunch supporter of cervical cancer awareness here in the Philippines,” he muses. “Through ‘The Tour of Hope’ exhibit, I want to showcase The passionate fight of these biker heroes in bringing down cervical cancer deaths here in the country.”

Aside from Abbygale Arenas and Jun de Leon, the pharmacetical company GlaxoSmithKline, other women-friendly companies, local government units and other cervical cancer advocates have also pledged their support for Bravehearts.

Meanwhile, Dr. Cecilia Llave, President of Cervical Cancer Prevention Program (CECAP) shares that to stop the human papilloma virus (HPV) – the cause of cervical cancer – from infecting women, an effective and relevant cervical cancer vaccine is necessary. There is a cervical cancer vaccine which provides significant protection for women against the two most common cancer-causing Human Papillomavirus (HPV) types (16 and 18), and also against 12 other cancer-causing HPV types which include HPV strain 45 – a strain which prevalently causes a more severe form of cervical cancer among Filipinas. Designed to last for both young and mature women, females from 10 years old onwards can be vaccinated with this cervical cancer vaccine.

“Early detection and vaccination is necessary to give every Filipina a fighting chance against the disease. And we at Bravehearts are united with Filipinas everywhere in the belief that together, we can save ourselves from the burden of cervical cancer,” ends Llave.

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