Marian Rose World Mission sponsors free cervical cancer screening for some aged 25-55 years old in undeserved communities in Iloilo, Philippines with limited or no access to traditional means of detecting signs of cervical cancer. The Cervical Cancer Screening and Prevention Program (CECAP) is conducted year round and also includes breast cancer screening to provide the opportunity to prevent these two diseases.
The CECAP program consists of a consultation, a VIA or Visual Inspection with Acetic Acid, and cryotherapy if necessary. The VIA involves applying table vinegar to the cervix, which enables the detection of early signs of cervical cancer. Our medical truck, donated by St. Barnabas allows us to go to town centers and geographically isolated areas to access communities in need.
Patients with a positive result of the VIA can immediately have cryotherapy treatment in the CECAP Van, freezing and destroying the cancerous cells. The overall result is a one-stop-shop for a woman’s regular screening and treatment. For underserved communities, the opportunity to prevent cervical cancer outweigh the minimal costs of VIA and cryotherapy: VIA costs less than $1 per patient and while cryotherapy costs are more difficult to calculate, these methods are much cheaper than major surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation in the later stages of cervical cancer.
Marian Rose also shares these life-saving treatment and prevention programs with local midwives, physicians, and healthcare providers with the goal of empowering and equipping them to take care of their community.
During the mission week in January, Marian Rose’s team of volunteers perform an average of fifty gynecological, twelve breast and ten thyroid surgeries annually in Ilonggo hospitals. In addition, in 2017, Marian Rose conducted nine corneal transplants and forty-six cataract surgeries.
Despite the Philippines’ national healthcare system, patients still need to provide personal resources. For example, a patient who needs blood needs to have their family donate blood. A person who needs an operation must provide funds for surgical supplies. Since in most cases these patients do not have the opportunity for routine medical care and check-ups, they also cannot provide the personal resources necessary for the surgeries to occur.
Marian Rose’s goals in providing these surgeries is to provide an opportunity for those who can’t afford life-saving surgery, to teach local doctors and residents techniques that they don’t have access to, and to raise awareness so local medical providers can encourage their patients to seek medical care and understand when to go for check-ups. In this way, patients can receive preventative care, taking care of issues before more invasive intervention is necessary.
During the mission week, Marian Rose hosts a medical clinic travelling alongside the CECAP team outside of Iloilo City, serving thousands of patients, adults and children.
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