Publication Sub Type
Philippine Journal of Surgical Specialties
Breast cancer is one of the leading causes of mortality in the Philippines. Its cause is multifactorial but the Filipino diet is considered as amajor factor on its causation. Primary, secondary and tertiary prevention are important tools to improve detection and treatment outcomes. Many diagnostic tools have been employed but the fine needle aspiration biopsy has been the most common choice among local surgeons. Filipino female patients are seldom diagnosed in the early stage of the disease (stage I). Majority of local studies focused on descriptive retrospective analysis and only a few investigated survival of patients. Major radiological modalities are available locally including mammography, computed tomography, magnetic resonance imaging and positron emission tomography-computed tomography. Sentinel lymph node biopsy is increasingly becoming popular. Chemotherapy and radiotherapy are available locally but Philippine studies on the experience of physicians on these treatments are currently few. Palliative support for patients with advanced breast cancer is given when necessary but there was no data on its utilization rate. Breast cancer support groups are available to help patients cope up with their disease. Overall, breast cancer in the Philippines continously poses as a grave threat for the female population. Educating Filipinos of the the risk factors combined with effective breast cancer screening methods and treatment strategies are the key elements to improve the survival of breast cancer patients in the Philippines.