By: Congressman Jerry P. Treñas
Good evening ladies and gentlemen. I wish to warmly greet Bosom Friends, Inc. for celebrating its 10th Foundation Day. The support group formed by your organization for breast cancer survivors is truly commendable and inspiring. I share in the thrusts of Bosom Friends to help cancer survivors by encouraging restoration, intimacy, dedication, and spirituality among its members.
I understand how devastating it is for someone to be diagnosed with breast cancer. According to the Department of Health, breast cancer is now the most common form of cancer in the country. Of the 50,000 diagnosed cases of cancer, at least 16% are suffering from breast cancer. It is also alarming that the Philippine Breast Cancer Network reported that the country has the highest incidence rate of breast cancer in Asia. Moreover, the Philippines is considered to have the 9th highest incidence rate of breast cancer in the entire world.
It is very unfortunate that one out of four who are diagnosed with breast cancer die within the first five years. According to the American Cancer Society, about 1.3 million women will be diagnosed with breast cancer annually worldwide and about 465,000 will die from the disease.
Data from the Philippine Cancer Facts and Estimates (2010) are not encouraging as well. It was estimated that a total of 12,262 breast cancer cases were reported in 2010, resulting to 4,371 deaths. Three out of every 100 Filipino women are likely to develop breast cancer in their lifetime. In addition, 1 out of every 100 are likely to die from breast cancer before reaching the age of 75.
However, please do not let these figures haunt you. What is important is the determination, the will power of those who are suffering from breast cancer to fight back and survive. Nevertheless, the struggle of those who are inflicted with breast cancer is a lonely and desperate fight without the aid of their family and friends. If those who suffer from breast cancer, together with their loved ones, band together in order to support one another, the chances of those suffering from this dreaded disease shall exponentially increase.
A lot of advances in medicine and technology have allowed cancer patients to hang on despite of the physical, mental, psychological and financial torture caused by cancer. Yet the biggest and most potent weapons against this dreaded disease costs nothing. The love and emotional support of the relatives and friends of the breast cancer patients are the best ammunition that can win the personal wars of the cancer patients against this disease.
I therefore applaud the Bosom Friends for forming an organization that amplifies the support given by the loved ones of our cancer patients. Together, you have formed a network that allows all of your members to draw strength from the determination and sincere support of all of those who are part of Bosom Friends.
I am truly proud of the accomplishments of your organization. You have turned the tide in the battle against breast cancer.
Thank you very much and congratulations again for your 10th foundation day.