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Workplace cancer screening for women rolled out

MANILA, Philippines — Cancer screening services for women will now be available in workplaces, according to the Department of Health (DOH).

The DOH said the move aims to promote cancer awareness, prevention and control among women while at the same time improving their health and overall well-being.

In partnership with the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG), the services being offered for cervical cancer screening cover advanced molecular approaches such as the human papillomavirus-DNA (HPV-DNA) test for women aged 30 to 49 years.

The HP-DNA test is complemented by cytologic tests such as pap smear or visual inspection with acetic acid (VIA) for women aged 50 and above.

“Cervical cancer, while highly treatable when detected early, ranks third among the most prevalent cancers in women, following breast and colorectal cancers. Often asymptomatic in its initial stages, cervical cancer is primarily caused by HPV, a prevalent sexually transmitted infection,” the DOH said.

It said preventive measures such as HPV vaccine and early detection through screening can mitigate the impact of this disease.

The DOH’s center for health development will lead screening services regionwide and will focus on the detection and prevention of cervical and breast cancers.

The services will be available in various health care facilities such as the Quezon City health department.

“When we take care of women, we take care of the nation. With this initiative, we not only address the pressing need for organized cancer screening services, but also recognize the pivotal role of women in our society,” Health Secretary Ted Herbosa said.