Women’s clubs unite against breast cancer
The gracious ladies of the Philippine chapters of British Women’s Association, American Women’s Club, and Australia New Zealand Association banded together to promote breast cancer awareness.
It all started when Sharon Horsman, president of the British Women’s Association of the Philippines, discovered the newly opened Asian Breast Center at Centuria Medical Makati and met its founder Dr. Norman San Agustin.
Dr. San Agustin led a special talk, which the three groups organized, about a pressing issue concerning women. Seventy-five guests of the women’s clubs as well as British Ambassador to the Philippines Daniel Pruce attended the morning Pink Tea event.
Asian Breast Center is the first freestanding for-profit-for-charity ambulatory comprehensive breast cancer center in Philippines. The center prides itself as a fully equipped, one-stop specialty unit for the management of breast conditions. It provides holistic, comprehensive, and multi-disciplinary approach to breast care including prevention, screening, diagnosis, and treatment.
The center hopes to be the first comprehensive ambulatory breast center outside the US to be recognized and certified by the American College of Surgeons. It strictly adheres to the National Comprehensive Cancer Network’s guidelines, which assure patients that they are getting the same quality and standard of care as when they go to leading breast cancer hospitals in the US.
Upon learning about the breast center, Horsman, American Women’s Club of the Philippines president Holly Reines, British Women’s Association of the Philippines vice president Teresa Conde Bilbao, and Terri Cutts paid the Asian Breast Cancer a visit in February to turn over cash donations.
“We were inspired by Dr. San Agustin’s story of giving back—of how a renowned doctor in the US specializing in breast cancer decided to come home and put up a for-profit-for-charity breast cancer facility to help his countrymen. That is a cause we believe in and support,” said Horsman.
Among the services Asian Breast Center offers are: consultation, medical oncology, radiation oncology, minor breast surgeries, breast reconstruction, digital mammography, breast ultrasound, scintigraphy, and biopsy.
Reines, an early-stage cancer survivor, flies back to the United States annually to see her oncologist and undergo tests—a routine that she knows is important and yet “tedious and very expensive.”
“I was relieved when I found out about the services that Asian Breast Center offers because I don’t need to go to the US for my regular breast checkup,” shared Reines.
The center also offers the latest breast cancer therapy for early stages, one of these is the Intraoperative Radiation Therapy, an advanced breast cancer treatment for stage 0 to 1. Unlike other radiation therapies that radiate the whole breast, IORT targets mainly the specific area wherein there’s cancer. Traditional radiation therapy radiates the whole breast daily for 61/2 weeks or 33 treatments a few weeks after surgery whereas, the center’s IORT radiates only the tumor cavity for 30 minutes or less at the time of the lumpectomy. When the patient wakes up from surgery, the radiation therapy is completed, and she may get back to work in a few days.
For diagnosis, the Asian Breast Center has the Molecular Breast Imaging machine that can accurately detect cancer even on dense breasts which are common among Asian women.
“Most women diagnosed with breast cancer are afraid—I mean, we all are—but it is treatable especially when caught early on,” said Horsman. “With the world-class facilities and the standard of care that Asian Breast Center at Centuria Medical Makati has, it is comforting to have your treatments done here rather than go abroad.”
The Asian Breast Center is located on the 8th floor of Centuria Medical Makati at Century City, Kalayaan Avenue cor. Salamanca St. Makati City.