Lung cancer cases up in Davao City

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Saturday, August 2, 2014


THE Davao City Health Office (CHO) recorded a total of 45 cases of lung cancer morbidity for the first five months this year, posing an increase compared to the number of cases in January to October last year.

The statistics gathered by the CHO from all the hospitals in the city showed that the number of patients diagnosed with lung cancer from January to October last year was only 44.

Meanwhile, CHO data showed there are a total of 23 mortality cases of lung cancer from January to April this year.

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In January to October last year, the mortality cases of lung cancer reached 103.

Anti-smoking Task Force Dr. Domilyn C. Villareiz said smoking is the contributory cause of lung cancer.

"Ninety percent of lung cancer cases are due to smoking, while 10 percent of them was acquired through second-hand smoke," Villareiz told Sun.Star Davao in a phone interview.

The World Health Organization estimates that a fourth of all types of cancers can be attributed to smoking.

Tobacco is responsible for 71 percent of lung cancer deaths in the world.

Lung cancer is the leading form of cancer in the Philippines and this is attributed to high smoking rates, particularly among men.

"About half of all men in the Philippines are currently smoking. It will not be surprising to see an epidemic of lung cancer among our productive members in the workforce within the next 10 to 15 years," Department of Health Undersecretary Ted Herbosa said in a DOH statement.

Herbosa said cigarette products contain 7,000 chemicals with every cigarette stick having 70 carcinogens or cancer-causing ingredients.

He said smoking is a leading cause of lung cancer but it can also increase the risks of other types such as cancer of the larynx, esophagus, stomach, pancreas and the colon, and anus.

In the Philippines, the top cancer killers are those of the lung, breast, cervix, liver, colon and rectum, prostate, stomach, oral cavity, ovary and leukemia. The survival rate of cancer cases in the country is also low.

"A major lung cancer epidemic could deplete our resources for universal health care. So we need to focus on prevention," he said.

Meanwhile, Villareiz said the anti-smoking task force recorded a total of 2,594 apprehensions from January to June.

The task force is intensifying its drive against smoking in public markets, where implementation is said to be "weak".

Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on August 02, 2014.

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