MITIGATING LIVES THROUGH BREAST CARE SEMINARSPosted by CQSalazar on Aug 13, 2012 in Feature Stories, News | 0 comments
Prevention is really better than cure. But in cases where a disease has already been detected, it is not too late to find solutions to mitigate the lives of the patient and still hope for the best. This is the story of how TSPI clients changed their lives that allowed them to not only to continue their journey in life, but also to help other women in their communities fight against breast cancer.
Nanay Yolanda Niegos is the Center Chief of Center #48 in the TSPI Moncada, Tarlac branch . After attending an Advocacy Seminar on Breast Care organized by the TSPI Community Development Program Team held last July 12, 2012 in Baquero Sur Evacuation Center, Baquero Sur, Moncada, Tarlac, she shared the knowledge and skills she gained to five of her co-members and one from her barangay, a businesswoman named Elizabeth Aliado.
Nanay Yolanda was surprised when Mrs. Aliado eagerly asked her about breast cancer. The latter was bothered about her daughter’s breast pain and the fact that they have a relative who died from breast cancer.
What Nanay Yolanda did was to teach Mrs. Aliado the proper examination of the breast – the simplest form of detention which is through looking and self-breast check-up. She demonstrated that the correct position during the examination when standing in front of the mirror is that, one should put the right palm under the head and use the left three finger pads to examine the right breast. Do it in the same procedure using the other hand by placing the left palm behind the head and using the right three finger pads in destituting the breast. Another way to check is when lying down, but one must use a pillow underneath the back so that the breast, if there will be lumps, can be examined in a better position.
Mrs. Aliado appreciated this learning very much and she wanted the information to be also heard by her daughter so that she can also detect what is in her breast through self-examination. For her, if there will be lumps or something different about hers and her daughter’s breasts, they will immediately go to the nearest health center to see what it is and to detect if these are early signs and symptoms of breast cancer.
Nanay Yolanda is very happy as she can see her neighbors and fellow clients also learned from her experience. She was thankful to TSPI and unto Jesus, who makes things possible for them to acquire the knowledge and skills to also share to other people.
It was last July 13, 2012 when a Breast Care Seminar Workshop was conducted at TSPI Office in Paniqui Tarlac from 8:00AM to 4:00PM.
In their Center # 53, Nanay Leticia shared to her fellow clients what she learned from the seminar – from the early signs and symptoms of breast lumps, and how breast cancer can be acquired. She also demonstrated to them how to properly self-check breasts.
She mentioned that her fellow clients said that if only they also had the opportunity to attend the seminar they could have also participated in it, but then it was her who was given the chance to attend it, for them. It was very fortunate for them to hear such knowledge for they learned a lot from it.
Nanay Leticia also informed her colleagues that this is the first time TSPI has conducted a breast care seminar for its clients in Paniqui, Tarlac. They said that the Lord is good for using TSPI to become an instrument to bring them good news through this sharing. On her part as a Barangay Health Worker, the seminar has been a great experience since it can bring hope to others in their community who needed the information, especially those who are feeling the same signs and symptoms with that of a breast cancer patient. She said with conviction that, “I am very willing to become an advocate of this information about taking care of our breast as it mitigates or even saves lives, and I am hoping to have more opportunities to share this information in every barangay of Paniqui, Tarlac.” She also prays that there will be more seminars and activities like these that TSPI would offer in the years to come.
Nanay Luisa P. Bunag is a sari-sari store owner on her 11th cycle loan from TSPI Kabuhayan Program. She was diagnosed late last year with breast cancer, ironically after she attended the seminar on Breast Care on October 2011 in Tarlac City. Amazingly, this does not hinder her from fulfilling her purpose in life.
At first she taught it was the end the world for her. But with her family as her inspiration, and with the help of TSPI-Gapan branch, she managed to cope up with the burdens and pains of the disease. She recalls that she learned a lot from that seminar and has also shared to others the knowledge and skills she gained from it. She said: “I cannot help myself talking about it anywhere I go because I believe that it could also help others save lives.” She was pertaining to her fellow TSPI clients whom she taught how to properly conduct a self-breast examination through correct use of fingerpads to identify breast lumps. She also learned that this disease could be acquired through eating unhealthy foods that is why she recommended to other people to be careful in food selection and to not eat foods which they suspect to have chemicals that could destroy their bodies.
Last year, she taught 10 other clients in their center about breast care. Aside from that, she also shared what she had learnt from the seminar to other non-TSPI clients in their community namely Lilibeth Mariano and Grace Baris, and Ms. Lydia Garcia of San Isidro Nueva Ecija, who also owns a sari-sari store.
How to detect breast lumps, and what is the correct way of doing self-breast examinations are most of the issues people asked when she started informing them about breast care and breast cancer. She explained to them that they can also do the self-breast examination during taking a shower, aside from lying down or in front of the mirror. They should do it once a month, on the 7-10th day after their first menstruation, and in a circular pattern from below the collar bone to the midrib bone, down to the bra line and up to the armpit going inwards up to the areola part. If they feel a lump, they should immediately see a doctor for a check-up to prevent the disease from further worsening and for early and proper medication.
Nanay Luisa also testified that the incident made her a stronger person. She said, she is now recovering from the disease through drinking a special branch herbal medicine coming from Canada. After her breast tumors’ operation last December 2011 with a diagnosis of Stage 2-A breast cancer, TSPI Gapan branch helped her for her chemotherapy and assisted her to the Department of Health (DOH) in Cabanatuan City. Although her family has no sufficient funds for her treatment, she has been very grateful to TSPI-Gapan Branch through the financial support of its staff and to Ms. Geraldine Toyoken’s prayers (Geraldine is a former Community Development Supervisor of Tarlac-Cabanatuan area) who initiated the project in the area for giving her the opportunity to learn during the seminar and refer her to Philippine Foundation for Breast Care, Inc. (PFBCI) for another laboratory check-up. This also gives her a big hope that she can overcome her illness. Believing that there is still a cure for it, through Jesus Christ, her True Healer, is what assures her of overcoming the disease.
With TSPI and its program on Community Development, she tearfully said with a smile that they have been blessed. She is now under the assistance of TSPI Gapan branch with the help from other Nueva Ecija and Tarlac branches.
This article was originally written by Mr. Arturo C. Taguinod, Community Development Program Supervisor, with reports from Ms. Joan C. Necor, Moncada Branch Manager, and Ms. Rhocelyn Agamao, Moncada Branch Sr. Account Officer, Ms. Rosebelle M. Vergara, Paniqui Branch Manager and Mr. Ryan Sahagun, Gapan City Branch Manager.
The photo used in the banner for this feature story (a woman looking at a photo of a female conducting a breast examination) was taken by Mr. Stanley Andrew Claravall Yu, Community Development Program Supervisor, last June 10, 2011, during a Breast Care Volunteers Training activity held in Caloocan.