ICanServe Foundation’s 10-year Ating Dibdibin program partner, the City of Taguig, hosted an OKtober forum and screening to mark Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Organized by the Taguig City Health Office (CHO), “OKtober Forum 2022: Let’s Move to Fight Breast Cancer” was held on October 26, 2022, at Lakeshore Hall.
The event drew in over 500 women from the city’s 28 barangays to learn about breast cancer and Taguig’s comprehensive Ating Dibdibin Program (ADP). Participants were also able to avail of free breast screenings and COVID-19 and Hepatitis B vaccinations.
In her opening remarks, ICanServe founding president Kara Magsanoc-Alikpala expressed her admiration for Taguig’s model ADP, citing the availability of free screenings, check-ups, diagnostics, treatment, and procedures. In the decade since its institutionalization via local ordinance, Taguig’s ADP has educated around 160,000 women through seminars and bench conferences, screened 85,000 women, and helped 259 breast cancer patients. She praised the city’s 39 Patient Navigators and 879 Barangay Health Workers for their immersion in the communities they serve, noting that most cities do not have this program.
Mayor Lani Cayetano likewise acknowledged the impact of the extraordinary partnership between Taguig and ICanServe in the fight against breast cancer, and called on the audience to share the knowledge they gained from the forum with their families and neighbors.
Dr. Cecile Montales, executive assistant for Health and ICanServe Foundation volunteer, equipped the audience with accurate information through a Breast Cancer 101 talk. Inspiring everyone with her positivity and determination, Taguig City Pink Crusaders support group member Celeste Daza shared her breast cancer survivor story.
The individual talks were followed by an open forum with Dr. Tim Trinidad and Dr. Angeli Del Valle of Taguig-Pateros District Hospital (TPDH), Ating Dibdibin Program Manager Dr. Evelyn Lacsina, and Magsanoc-Alikpala. Results of the “Pink Bestie Workplace” competition, for which Magsanoc-Alikpala served as one of the judges, were announced, with Brgy. Pinagsama Health Center receiving first prize.
Finally, International School Manila student and Girl Scout Ana Infante, accompanied by her mother, breast cancer survivor and ICanServe member Lia Infante, turned over informational materials she created to dispel common myths about breast cancer.