More than 1,500 join in walk for breast cancer awareness

More than 1,500 Cebuanos joined in the 7th annual Moonwalk: A Walk for Breast Cancer Awareness organized by the Ramon Aboitiz Foundation Inc. (RAFI) last Oct. 23.

Under a full moon, the participants walked from Cebu Business Park to Asiatown I.T. Park (AITP) where a short program was held.

Moonwalk was organized in celebration of Breast Cancer Awareness Month in October.

The event registered 1,354 participants. RAFI estimated at least 300 more participants who came in late during the assembly time and who were already waiting at the venue for the program but failed to properly register.

Participants of Moonwalk came from different walks of life. They include cancer patients, cancer survivors, students, members of cancer support groups, representatives of private companies, representatives of local government units and government agencies, and members of gay rights groups.

“In this Moonwalk, we are not just walking. We are walking our way to wellness,” Ronald delos Reyes, program coordinator of the Eduardo J. Aboitiz Cancer Center (EJACC) of RAFI, said.

Breast cancer, which is characterized by an abnormal growth of breast cells, is most common in women ages 30 to 59. It is the leading cause of cancer-related deaths among Cebuano women, based on the Cebu population-based Cancer Registry of RAFI.

From 1993 to 2007, EJACC recorded a total of 3,005 reported breast cancer cases in Metro Cebu. EJACC found a continuous increase of breast cancer incidence in Metro Cebu over the past 10 years, caused by lifestyle and health-related factors.

Delos Reyes urged women aged 20 and above to conduct monthly self-breast examination, preferably five to 10 days after their menstrual period. He also advised yearly clinical breast examination for women aged 40 and above and annual mammogram for women aged 50 or earlier for women who have family history of breast cancer.

“Breast cancer affects anyone, but we can do something about it,” he said.

During the program, Mary Ann Alcordo-Solomon, a breast cancer survivor and Cebu Coordinator of cancer support network I CAN SERVE Foundation said that all cancer support groups are one in promoting awareness on breast cancer to Cebuano women.

The major partner for Moonwalk was The Walk in AITP. The event was also supported by other various groups and institutions, including Ayala Center Cebu, AITP, Cebu Business Park, Department of Health-Center for Health Development Regional Office 7, Destiny Medical Fund, Cebu City Government, Cancer Care Network of Cebu, Rotary Club of Fuente, Rotaract Club of Cebu Fuente-Comm. based, Philippine Society of Medical Oncologists, Kahayag Network of Cancer Support Group, Cebu Cancer Fight, Cebu Breast Association, CAN with God, I CAN SERVE Foundation, and KALIPI Federation.

The Moonwalk is one of the programs under RAFI’s Integrated Development focus area, one of the five key areas in RAFI’s comprehensive approach to elevating lives and communities. Its other focus areas are Leadership & Citizenship, Micro-finance & Entrepreneurship, Culture & Heritage, and Education.

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