Harnessing innovation and collaboration to bring better tomorrows for lung cancer patients
Lung cancer remains one of the most commonly diagnosed cancer worldwide. According to the 2018 report of the World Cancer Research Fund, lung cancer is the second most common cancer in men and third most commonly occurring cancer in women. Globally, there were 2.1 million recorded lung cancer cases and 1.8 million deaths as of 2018. In the Philippines, lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer-related deaths, accounting for 15,000 cases every year.
While lung cancer cases continue to increase, the good news is that patients today have more access to medical information, early detection measures, and innovative treatment options.A decade ago, lung cancer seemed to be the end of the line. In 2008, 3 out of 100 men, and 1 out of 100 women would have died from lung cancer before age 75.Today, there are more hopeful tomorrows for lung cancer patients and Hope from Within (HFW) continues to reach out to lung cancer patients and their families to provide the much needed community of support in their fight against this dreadful disease.
Innovation brings hope
Innovation in cancer treatment brings hope, as this means better treatment options for patients, that could potentially improve overall survival and quality of life.
One breakthrough cancer treatment is immunotherapy. The immune system acts as our body’s natural defense against diseases. Through immunotherapy, cancer patients undergo treatments to strengthen the immune system and help the body fight cancer. Apart from increasing the rate of survival, immunotherapy also improves the quality of life of the patient and palliative care.
Innovation also comes in policy measures that aim to institutionalize government support for national healthcare programs. Cancer treatment can be financially exhaustive. Hope comes in landmark laws: the National Integrated Cancer Control Act (NICCA), and the Universal Health Care (UHC) Law, which both aim to ease the financial burden of cancer patients and their families by providing assistance for the early detection of the disease and access to innovative cancer treatment options.
Collaboration brings hope
A lung cancer diagnosis is life-changing and it can be a source of considerable psychological and emotional stress. Feelings of anxiety and depression often accompany patients and their family members as they cope with lung cancer. It is encouraging to know that patients and their families would not have to face this disease alone.
Utilizing social media for this advocacy, HFW announces the launch of its Hope for Lung Cancer Facebook Group. (https://bit.ly/HopeForLungGroup ) This group is envisioned to be a community where lung cancer patients, survivors, caregivers, advocates, and healthcare professionals can share their experiences, pain points and insights to help one another in their fight against cancer. Members can also access information that equip them to better navigate their respective cancer journeys. Understanding one’s own journey empowers the patient to learn more about the disease, treatment options and takes an active role in fighting cancer.
Aside from belonging to a community, patients who join the group will have access to inspiring stories and get to meet HFW’s new advocates and ambassadors who are committed to raise awareness, share relevant information, and bring inspiration among lung cancer patients and their loved ones on how to chart their cancer patient journey. For 2020, HFW ambassadors are Ariella Arida (actress and fashion model best known for winning Miss Universe Philippines 2013); Marlo Mortel (singer and actor), Tirso Cruz III (veteran actor and lung cancer survivor), and Susan Africa (veteran actress and wife of the late veteran actor SpankyManikan who died of lung cancer).
There is hope beyond cancer. With advancements in innovative treatments like immuno therapy, implementation of the NICCA and UHCA, and a solid support community, there is hope for more beautiful tomorrows awaiting patients and their families.
MSD’s Hope From Within advocacy program aims to raise awareness for overall survival and better access for cancer patients in the Philippines. For more information, visit Hope From Within website at https://hopefromwithin.org/ and Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/Hopefromwithinph.