When you say, “Cancer” the initial thought is “impending doom” and whether or not you’re the one diagnosed, it feels like a completely mismatched challenge. It’s not an illness that people walk away from un-scarred, that is if they survive the battle and it can affect anyone. It doesn’t choose what kind of person you are, what you believe in, what your stature in life is or if you don’t eat the skin on your chicken. It’s a lottery draw, and the winner is unlucky.
Cancer in the Philippines
Here in the Philippines, we’re not as privileged as other wealthier countries like Singapore, Switzerland, the US. Let’s admit, our country is not exactly as modernized as we feel, despite the regular updates on the latest gadgets and smartphones. In terms of medical technology, we’re still a while away from innovation.
Still, there’s hope for us and that has become evident with the help of a new medical technology that will help cure Cancer; Tomotherapy and a better way of treating patients. Asian Hospital and Medical Center (AHMC) is offering that here in the Philippines, and more: Asian Hospital will transform the approach to cancer care in the Philippines with its new center: the Asian Cancer Institute (ACI).
New Medical Technology and Multidisciplinary Team
ACI is not the first cancer institute in the country, but it is offering a “first-of-its-kind” quality service. ACI is made up of a multidisciplinary team that is set out to provide holistic healthcare, various forms of patient & family assistance and some of the best technology for cancer diagnosis and treatment, including Tomotherapy.
The Multidisciplinary Team includes the following (from left to right on the photo above):
- Dr. Aldine Astrid A. Basa, MD (Breast Surgeon Consultant, Head of the Breast Center, ACI)
- Dr. Cecilia A. Ladines–Llave, MD, PhD (Chief of Gynecologic Oncology Unit, AHMC)
- Andres M. Licaros, Jr. (President & CEO of Asian Hospital)
- Dr. Joven Q. Tanchuco (Chief Medical Officer, AHMC)
- Dr. Enrico D. Tangco, MD (Coordinator of Continuing Medical Education & Multidisciplinary Team ACI)
- Dr. Gerardo Tomas H. Cornelio, MD (Coordinator for Quality Management, ACI)
and, not included in the photo (my camera has limited view):
- Dr. Michelle F. Rodriguez, MD (Section Head of Pediatric Oncology, Dept. of Pediatrics, ACI)
- Dr. Corazon A. Ngelangel, MD, MS, PhD (Clinical Director, ACI)
- Dr. Johanna Patricia Adevoso-Canal, MD, MHA (Head and Coordinator of Conquer Center, ACI)
- Dr. Karl T. Morales, MD, FACS, FPCS (Coordinator of Emmanuel Center, ACI)
- Dr. Cherry M. Marquez, MD (Coordinator of Chrys 1 Center, ACI)
Dr. Rumalie A. Corvera, MD, DPAFP (Coordinator of Chrys 2 Center, ACI)
Cure, Care and Comfort
ACI is promising not just prevention and treatment but comfort, above all else, for both patients and their families during their battle with cancer. That means therapies included in the treatment process and regular updates from the physicist regarding the progress.
While it sounds common and a is obviously a required form of service, it’s actually not being applied enough in many of our hospitals, especially the moral and therapeutic support for the families of the patient. ACI is offering a wide range of medical and moral support for patients. There’s preventive care services, rehabilitation, advanced care planning, home care, family counselling, even grief counselling and more.
What It Means for The Country
First of all: Refined medical service and technology. The Asian Cancer Institute is a state-of-the-art cancer treatment facility, possibly the first in the country (in terms of service and technology). It is helmed by some of the best and highly respected cancer specialists, and they are not just offering medical treatment but therapy and compassion, something the medical industry in our country is still lacking.
What It Means for the People
At last, there’s a convenient place to go to (for southerners, mostly) for diagnosis and treatment of cancer. It also means that our country is a step closer to better medical care, which will undoubtedly inspire other hospitals and institutes to upgrade their service. In the near future, Filipinos may be able to get treatment right here in our country instead of having to fly elsewhere for it.
Is It Affordable Enough?
It’s on the top list of everyone’s concern about healthcare, “Can I Afford this?”. In all honesty, Asian Cancer Institute’s services are not cheap, and No, they are not that affordable for the greater portion of our society. Then again, is Cancer treatable with Less? As the President and CEO of ACI, Andres Licaros, Jr. said, “Why would you spend less on healthcare?” The point being: if it takes this much to treat cancer, you shouldn’t hold back. It takes A LOT, after all, to get the BEST RESULT.
How Can ACI Patients Save More Then?
ACI is planning to issue a membership card for patients which they can use in many different ways. First of all, it can offer discounts on certain services (still undecided which, or if it’s through a points system) aside from the Senior Citizen discount. In addition to that, patients no longer need to personally show up at the hospital to acquire their test results. We all know that just dropping by the hospital can be a nuisance, especially when we’re travelling through EDSA, of all places. Physicists can e-mail, call or message the patients their test results and all new and necessary information about the treatment. You can then grab the physical copy at a later time, during a consultation with the doctor.
- Yes, the services and the consultation will undoubtedly be expensive but you we do know that cancer is not exactly the same a occasional flu you can sleep off.
- No, ACI will not limit the patients’ options regarding the different methods of treatment. If the patient prefers the non-invasive ways or spiritual kind of healing, ACI will let him decide.
- Yes, they offer counseling, support and pain management for both the patient and family.
- Yes, they have a special center for children with cancer.
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