Statement of the Commission on Human Rights commending the free breast cancer screening in Quezon City

Statement of the Commission on Human Rights commending the free breast cancer screening in Quezon City

The Commission on Human Rights (CHR) commends the efforts made by the Quezon City Health Department to conduct a free breast cancer screening for almost 20,000 women in six districts in Quezon City.

According to a report, out of 22,476 women who underwent breast cancer screening, 146 tested positive for breast mass. Eight women underwent surgery at East Avenue Medical Center, while 133 others had mammograms at Quezon City General Hospital.

Based on a study released by the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA), cancer has been the country’s second-leading cause of death in recent years, particularly lung, liver, breast, colorectal, and prostate cancers [1]. Given these statistics, programs such as free breast cancer screenings are critical steps toward addressing this health-related issue.

Article XIII, Section 11 of the Philippine 1987 Constitution provides that the “State shall adopt an integrated and comprehensive approach to health development which shall endeavor to make essential goods, health, and other social services available to all the people at affordable cost. There shall be priority for the needs of the underprivileged, sick, elderly, disabled, women, and children.”

The Commission believes that early detection is one of the key factors in improving breast cancer outcomes in the country. By providing free breast cancer screening, the state respects everyone’s right to early detection and timely treatment, particularly women who are more vulnerable to the disease, regardless of their financial situation.

As we reaffirm our commitment to Filipino health equity, we encourage everyone, especially the government, private sector, and civil society organizations (CSOs), to prioritize and invest in free medical screening to detect diseases in their earliest stages, when treatment is most effective and survival rates are highest.

Serbisyong medikal para sa lahat! ###

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[1] 2022 Causes of Deaths in the Philippines (Preliminary as of 28 February 2023). https://psa.gov.ph/content/2022-causes-deaths-philippines-preliminary-28-february-2023