PhilHealth urges breast cancer patients to seek immediate treatment, avail of Z Benefit Package

By Azer N. Parrocha

MANILA, (PNA) — An early mammogram (breast X-ray) can save not just a woman’s life—but a whole lot of medical expenses.

The Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth) on Friday urged women to get checked-up the moment they suspect they have breast cancer and have it treated immediately for two main reasons.

Dr. Francis Vicente Lopez, a member of the PhilHealth Board of Directors and well known oncologist, said that the earlier it was treated, the higher the chance of being cured and the less one would have to spend for treatment.

One of the leading causes of mortality among women is breast cancer, which is not immediately treated when in fact, an early stage of the cancer is curable, Lopez explained.

Aside from getting an early check-up, Lopez also urged women to be a member of PhilHealth as it would ensure many medical benefits.

Under its Z Benefit Package, PhilHealth is providing P100,000.00 for the treatment of breast cancer (stage 0 to III-A).

Members who will avail of this package can secure a pre-authorization from PhilHealth which will give contracted hospitals the information that the member has passed the eligibility and minimum clinical selection criteria.

In the Philippines, recent data from the Department of Health (DOH) and Philippine Cancer Society, Inc., show that breast cancer is the most common cancer in the country which makes up 16 percent of the 80,000 new cancer cases in 2010.

The DOH continues to raise awareness on breast cancer especially as it celebrates Cancer Prevention Month this October.

PhilHealth is also supporting the growing awareness campaign against breast cancer “Pink Positive” by the ICANSERVE Foundation.