Breast Cancer

Note: The following is just a sharing of information that I have personally collected or read about breast cancer, mammograms, and breast ultrasounds. I am not a medical doctor. If you think that you or someone you know would like to seek further information on breast cancer or the tests which may assist in detecting it, please consult your doctor.

In recent years, I have heard of an increasing number of breast cancer cases among relatives, friends, and acquaintances. While we all pray and hope for perfect health, especially for our loved ones and family members, it is best to be vigilant and aware of changes in our bodies so that any disease is caught at a relatively early stage.

This increases the individual's chances of surviving and for treatment to be more effective.

In the case of women and breast cancer, each individual is encouraged to do "breast self-examination" to detect lumps and other changes. Aside from this, women 40 years old and above can be more prudent by having a mammogram or a breast ultrasound on an annual basis.

I have often heard from friends and relatives that a mammogram is painful or at the least, can make you feel uncomfortable. It was therefore with a bit of dread that I underwent my first mammogram in March of this year. Surprisingly though, it was not the least bit painful or uncomfortable. I actually wondered if I was undergoing the right test.

A mammogram takes a low-dose x-ray photograph of the breasts. It can help detect cancer at the earliest stage. A breast ultrasound, on the other hand, sends high frequency sound waves through the breasts and converts these to images. An ultrasound helps determine the kind of mass that one may have in his or her breast.

With mammogram and breast ultrasound results, an individual can be assisted in determining the need to do further medical consultations for questionable lumps or masses which may be found.

If you are Philippine-based and are looking for a place to get a mammogram or a breast ultrasound, here is the information that I have gathered (as of March 2007). Please note that the data (e.g. price, contact information) provided here may change over time so please do a check again, particularly if you are looking at this page after some time:

1. Med Central, Robinson's Galleria Mall, Ortigas

You can reach them at 633-4567.

They only offer breast ultrasound (P1,145.00). They have no facilities for a mammogram.

Tests are administered on a first come-first served basis. You may come in as early as 9am when the mall opens.

2. St. Luke's Medical Center

You can reach the Breast Center at 723-0101 local 5206.

They offer a package which includes breast ultrasound and mammogram for P3,000. Separately, an ultrasound costs P1,592 while a mammogram costs P1,920.

You need to set an appointment for tests. Tests may be administered from 8am to 4pm daily.

3. Medical City

You can reach them by asking for the Breast Clinic after dialing the trunk line at 635-6789.

An ultrasound costs P1,527 while a mammogram costs: P1,350 for one breast and P2,150 for 2 breasts.

You need to set an appointment for tests. Tests may be done from 8am to 6:30pm daily.

4. Cardinal Santos Hospital

You can call their trunk line at 727-0001.

A mammogram costs P1,300 while breast ultrasound costs P1,560. There are only specific days and times when an ultrasound can be done. These are on Wednesdays (9am-5pm); Thursdays and Fridays (2-5pm) and Saturdays (1-5pm).

Tests are done on a first come-first served basis. It is best to call them up just to make sure about the schedule.

Note: This is where I had my mammogram. If you are afraid to have a mammogram because of the pain or discomfort that it might cause, you may want to try out Cardinal Santos. The staff who did my mammogram specifically asked if the procedure was painful and I said it wasn't. She said that some patients who have had their mammogram elsewhere are likewise surprised that the test is not painful when they have it done at Cardinal Santos.

5. Healthway Medical Clinic, 5th Level, Shangrila Plaza Mall, Mandaluyong

You can call them at 910-4929.

A breast ultrasound and a mammogram costs P1,620 each.

Tests are done on a first come-first served basis. Tests can be done from 8am to 8pm.

There you go. I hope the above information has been helpful to ensuring that we all stay healthy and that diseases are detected at the earliest stage possible.

Please stay strong and healthy. God bless. =)

[By Angelica Viloria | Wednesday, April 4, 2007]

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