May 13, 2023—Cancer Coalition Philippines, of which ICANSERVE Foundation is a member organization, co-hosted the Union for International Cancer Control (UICC)’s Asia-Pacific Regional Dialogue on Women’s Cancers in Makati City from May 10-12, 2023. Entitled “Women’s cancers: sharing experience, strengthening regional networks,” the event brought together 80 participants from 24 countries to collaborate in the fight against breast and cervical cancers.

Over two days of intensive workshops, healthcare professionals, patient advocates, and other key stakeholders in the cancer community shared expertise and best practice models that would help meet targets set by the World Health Organization’s Global Breast Cancer Initiative (GBCI). The new framework released by GBCI in February 2023 aims to save 2.5 million lives from breast cancer by 2040.

On the third and final day of the conference, delegates visited Taguig City to learn about Ating Dibdibin, ICANSERVE’s flagship community-based early breast cancer detection program which Taguig has successfully expanded into a full-scale breast cancer control program since institutionalizing it via ordinance in 2012. Launched in the country in 2008, it promotes early detection and diagnosis, access to timely and quality care, supportive care, palliative care, and patient navigation.

Taguig City has become an Ating Dibdibin model for many best practices. Its latest innovation, the Circle of Life digital infrastructure project, uses data and analytics to enhance monitoring and evaluation, identify problems and gaps in breast cancer care—including those challenges that have yet to surface—in order to design targeted interventions and solutions.

The half-day field visit, held at the Taguig City Center for the Elderly, allowed UICC delegates to hear about the program’s impact directly from city officials including Mayor Lani Cayetano, executive assistant for Health Dr. Cecille Montales, and from ICanServe founding president Kara Magsanoc-Alikpala. Delegates also visited the Barangay North Signal Health Center to watch a bench conference conducted by patient navigators, the Ating Dibdibin program’s most essential workers who directly guide patients through the continuum of care.

ICanServe hopes to work with more local government units to develop and implement breast cancer control programs.

Learn more about Ating Dibdibin here.

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