Tag Archives: cancer

Cancer in PhilHealth

Even though cervical cancer screening has been included in a diagnostic package three years ago, the Senate of the Philippines still sought to establish a Philippine Cancer Center as well as a national control program.

In the “Tamang Serbisyo sa Kalusugan ng Pamilya” (Tsekap), cervical cancer was among the medical conditions included in the Enhanced Primary Care Package by the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth). A total of 15, 068, 028 indigent and sponsored members of the health company can go to either a private or a public hospital that is a Tsekap provider.

But there are still gaps in cancer care, Senator Joseph Victor Ejercito reasoned, so he filed Senate Bill 1850 or the “National Integrated Cancer Control Act”. It was approved on third and final reading to be able to, as its title implies, integrate policies for the prevention, detection, correct diagnosis, treatment, and management of cancer.

“Through the National Integrated Cancer Control Act, we can give cancer patients a choice, we can give them hope – hope that they will have an equitable and affordable cancer treatment and care especially for the underprivileged and marginalized Filipinos,” Sen. Ejercito was quoted saying in an article.

Under the bill, it will not only be cervical cancer that the PhilHealth can sponsor for but all types and stages of cancer in both adults and children. All member employees and voluntary members shall be covered and compensated by the sickness benefits of the Social Security System and the disability benefits of the Government Service Insurance System.

All health maintenance organizations would be required, too, to cover genetic counseling and testing, cancer screening, and diagnostic and palliative care. The University of the Philippines-Philippine General Hospital should establish the Philippine Cancer Center and a fund—the Cancer Assistance Fund—to ensure a steady supply of cancer drugs and cancer control related vaccines to patients.

Cancer is the third leading cause of adult death and the 4th for child morbidity in the country. There are an estimated 8 deaths per day for child cancer and up to 11 new cases and 7 deaths per hour for adult cancer based on the record of the Department of Health. This translates to almost 110,000 new cancer cases and over 66,000 cancer deaths every year.

“Through the National Integrated Cancer Control Act, we can give cancer patients a choice, we can give them hope – hope that they will have an equitable and affordable cancer treatment and care especially for the underprivileged and marginalized Filipinos,” Sen. Joseph Victor Ejercito

Video taken from the YouTube Channel of the Medical Observer

On Filipino Seafarers

Filipino seamen can get sick during the course of their work. They could acquire hand-arm vibration syndrome (HAVS) from operating chipping machines, needle guns, and hand held grinders. They could develop cardiovascular diseases (CVD) from multitasking. They could suffer musculoskeletal disorder (MSD) from working nonstop, or they could have cancer from exposing themselves to beryllium, cadmium, lead, and other toxic substances.

Filipino seamen could also be infected with a sexually transmitted disease for unsafe sexual activities; pandemic and epidemic diseases for visiting ports currently plagued with malaria, cholera, yellow fever, and tuberculosis, among others; or hypertension for excessive stress, fatigue, loneliness, smoking, alcoholic consumption, and lack of physical activity.

The National Conciliation and Meditation Board (NCMB) could help Filipino seafarers be compensated, though. Former bosun Alexander Billones, for one, had figured in an accident when he was hired by the KGJS Fleet Management Manila, Inc. resulting in chronic degenerative disc. He was then repatriated amidst pain in his lower back, hips, and legs. He was just assisted by lawyer Christopher Rey Valmores and conciliator-mediator Gil Caragayan in claiming P3,206,250 for settlement.

Another case is Nestor Balbaboco Jr.’s. He was employed by the North Sea Marine Service Corporation but suffered a spinal injury while on board the M/V Albatross. He was awarded P2,215,720 through NCMB-NCR Chief Leo Ma. Delia Yu’s facilitation.

One more example is Joel Florande. He was sent by the Sea Power Shipping, Inc. to M/V Efstathios where he had a mild stroke. Valmores assisted him to receive P3,636,699 settlement from the Sea Power Shipping Enterprises.

Filipino seafarers are governed by the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) Standard Employment Contract that intends to compensate a “work-related” illness, injury or death. Someone who died of cerebrovascular disease (stroke) 17 days after a contract’s end was not compensable. Another who had been on board for only one month cannot be benefited, too. Only a widower whose seafarer husband died due to colon cancer while on board could be entitled to the benefits that her deceased husband had signed.

“An Act Protecting Seafarers Against Ambulance Chasing and Imposition of Excessive Fees and Providing Penalties Therefor” was also enacted into law to prohibit a person from soliciting an amount in exchange of a legal service to seafarers. It is simply called the Seafarers Protection Act that lowers legal fees from 40%-50% to 10% only. Hopefully, these two regulations would be modified as necessary to protect those who make up more than one-third of all ship workers in the world.

Video taken from the YouTube Channel of Harvey Cureg

Notes The global shipping industry, which carries 80 percent of international trade, employs about 1.2 million seafarers, the bulk of whom come from the Philippines. (Source: GMA News Online)

Is Drug Addiction A Disability?

Drug addiction can lead to disability.

For drugs can affect the brain, a person’s nutrition; sleep; decision-making and impulsivity; and risk for trauma, violence, injury, and communicable diseases. This could eventually have negative outcomes in education, employment, housing, relationships, and criminal justice involvement.

Examples of drugs that can lead to disability are steroids, heroin, cocaine, marijuana, inhalants, 3,4methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA), phencyclidine (PCP), metamphetamine, opioids, γ-hy·drox·y·bu·tyr·ate (GHB), lysergic acid (LSD), mescaline (peyote), synthetic cannabinoids, synthetic cathinones, dex·tro·me·thor·phan (DXM), tobacco, khat, stimulants, psilocybin, dimethyltryptamine (DMT), kratom, nicotine, Rohypnol, ayahuasca, prescription sedatives, salvia, prescription and over-the-counter drugs.

Abuse of them can cause the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), hepatitis, and cancer. The cardiovascular system, respiratory system, gastrointestinal system, musculoskeletal system can also be affected, the kidney and liver damaged, and neurological problems, hormonal problems, mental health problems, and prenatal effects to happen.

In a debate hosted by the National University of Ireland in Galway and organized by the International Centre on Human Rights and Drug Policy, however, executive director Richard Elliott of the Canadian HIV/AIDS Legal Network equates drug use as a disability since it is exactly what drug dependence does: disable people by criminalizing them and prohibiting their participation to society. Even lecturer Simon Flacks of the University of Reading believes so upon finding out that drugs are ‘agents causing malfunction’ that will eventually lead to a disorder.

“…most people encounter varying mental health problems throughout their life and it is in everyone’s interest not to be discriminated against when that happens.” ~Simon Flacks

Video taken from the YouTube Channel of Lil pump

Cardiovascular diseases in Serbia

Cardiovascular diseases happen when the heart does not receive enough blood supply—through the coronary arteries—to contract and pump. It is one of the “national health priority areas” in Serbia according to the report of The European Journal of Public Health aside from cancer and mental health.

There’s a possibility that this could be predicted and prevented through mobile technology, though. Patients just have to be monitored through the Health eHeart Study where physicians could develop “robust and accurate models” based on the occurrence of heart disease in people who don’t yet have heart disease. How to slow down the progression of heart disease in people who already have it will also be observed.

The Health eHeart Study is, in effect, “precision medicine.” Participants just have to submit data via a secure online survey. Smartphone technology can also be used to measure a participant’s heart rate, blood pressure and pulse rate. The collated information would be sent back to researchers who can make recommendations to help prevent or treat heart disease.

“I learned at a very young age to appreciate every single day, and I don’t think it’s a gift everyone is given,” Heidi Dohse

Video taken from the YouTube Channel of John Leslie