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Cancer Statistics
Population in 2012: 96.5m
People newly diagnosed with cancer (excluding NMSC) / yr: 98,200
Age-standardised rate, incidence per 100,000 people/yr: 140.0
Risk of getting cancer before age 75:14.8%
People dying from cancer /yr: 59,000
Data from IARC GlobalCan (2012)


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Philippines: Cancer Organisations and Resources
Latest Research Publications related to the Philippines

Philippines: Cancer Organisations and Resources (12 links)

Latest Research Publications related to the Philippines

Shoemaker ML, White MC
Breast and cervical cancer screening among Asian subgroups in the USA: estimates from the National Health Interview Survey, 2008, 2010, and 2013.
Cancer Causes Control. 2016; 27(6):825-9 [PubMed] Related Publications
PURPOSE: This study describes variations in mammography and Pap test use across and within subgroups of Asian women in the USA.
METHODS: Using data from the National Health Interview Survey (2008, 2010, and 2013), we calculated weighted proportions for selected Asian subgroups (Asian Indian, Chinese, Filipino, Other Asian) of women reporting mammography and Pap test use.
RESULTS: The proportion of women aged 50-74 years who reported a mammogram within the past 2 years did not differ significantly across Asian subgroups. The proportion of women aged 21-65 years who received a Pap test within the past 3 years differed significantly across Asian subgroups, with lower proportions among Asian Indian, Chinese, and Other Asian women. Recent immigrants, those without a usual source of care, and women with public or no health insurance had lower proportions of breast and cervical cancer screening test use.
CONCLUSIONS: Patterns of mammography and Pap test use vary among subgroups of Asian women, by length of residency in the USA, insurance status, usual source of care, and type of cancer screening test. These findings highlight certain Asian subgroups continue to face significant barriers to cancer screening test use.

Tating DL, Montevirgen ND, Cajucom L
Cushing's Syndrome From Pituitary Microadenoma and Pulmonary Nodules.
Oncol Nurs Forum. 2016; 43(2):136-40 [PubMed] Related Publications
Cushing's syndrome is a state of cortisol excess, possibly from a tumor in the pituitary gland, the adrenal gland, or an ectopic nonpituitary ACTH-secreting source. The first form, pituitary in origin, was originally described by Harvey Cushing, MD, and was labeled as Cushing's disease. Long-term therapy with glucocorticoids also can lead to iatrogenic Cushing's syndrome.

Chao GF, Krishna N, Aizer AA, et al.
Asian Americans and prostate cancer: A nationwide population-based analysis.
Urol Oncol. 2016; 34(5):233.e7-15 [PubMed] Related Publications
INTRODUCTION: It remains largely unknown if there are racial disparities in outcomes of prostate cancer (PCa) for Asian American and Pacific Islanders (PIs) (AAPIs). We examined differences in diagnosis, management, and survival of AAPI ethnic groups, relative to their non-Hispanic White (NHW) counterparts.
METHODS: Patients (n = 891,100) with PCa diagnosed between 1988 and 2010 within the surveillance, epidemiology, and end results database were extracted and stratified by ethnic group: Chinese, Japanese, Filipino, Hawaiian, Korean, Vietnamese, Asian Indian/Pakistani, PI, and Other Asian. The effect of ethnic group on stage at presentation, rates of definitive treatment, and PCa-specific mortality was assessed. The severity at diagnosis was defined as: localized (TxN0M0), regional (TxN1M0), or metastatic (TxNxM1).
RESULTS: Relative to NHWs, Asian Indian/Pakistani, Filipino, Hawaiian, and PI men had significantly worse outcomes. Filipino (odds ratio [OR] = 1.38, 95% CI: 1.27-1.51), Hawaiian, (OR = 1.70, 95% CI: 1.41-2.04), Asian Indian/Pakistani (OR = 1.37, 95% CI: 1.15-1.64), and PI men (OR = 1.90, 95% CI: 1.46-2.49) were more likely to present with metastatic PCa (P<0.001). In patients with localized PCa, Filipino men were less likely to receive definitive treatment (OR = 0.91; 95% CI: 0.84-0.97; P = 0.005). Most AAPI groups had lower rates of PCa death except for Hawaiian (hazard ratio = 1.52; 95% CI: 1.30-1.77; P<0.0001) and PI men (hazard ratio = 1.43; 95% CI: 1.12-1.82; P<0.0001).
CONCLUSIONS: Compared with NHWs, AAPI groups were more likely to present with advanced PCa but had better cancer-specific survival. Conversely, Hawaiian and PI men were at greater risk for PCa-specific mortality. Given the different cancer profiles, our results show that there is a need for disaggregation of AAPI data.

Guerrero AM, Genuino AJ, Santillan M, et al.
A cost-utility analysis of cervical cancer screening and human papillomavirus vaccination in the Philippines.
BMC Public Health. 2015; 15:730 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Cervical cancer is the second leading cause of cancer cases and deaths among Filipino women because of inadequate access to screening and treatment services. This study aims to evaluate the health and economic benefits of HPV vaccination and its combination with different screening strategies to find the most optimal preventive strategy in the Philippines.
METHODS: A cost-utility analysis was conducted using an existing semi-Markov model to evaluate different screening (i.e., Pap smear, visual inspection with acetic acid) and vaccination strategies against HPV infection implemented alone or as part of a combination strategy at different coverage scenarios. The model was run using country-specific epidemiologic, cost and clinical parameters from a health system perspective. Sensitivity analysis was performed for vaccine efficacy, duration of protection and costs of vaccination, screening and treatment.
RESULTS: Across all coverage scenarios, VIA has been shown to be a dominant and cost-saving screening strategy with incremental cost-effectiveness ratio (ICER) ranging from dominant to Php 61,059 (1443 USD) per QALY gained. VIA can reduce cervical cancer cases and deaths by 25%. Pap smear screening was found to be not cost-effective due to its high cost in the Philippines. Adding HPV vaccination at a cost of 54 USD per vaccinated girl on top of VIA screening was found to be potentially cost-effective using a threshold of 1 GDP per capita (i.e., Php 120,000 or 2835 USD/ QALY) with the most favorable assumption of providing lifelong immunity against high-risk oncogenic HPV types 16/18. The highest incremental QALY gain was achieved with 80% coverage of the combined strategy of VIA at 35 to 45 years old done every five years following vaccination at 11 years of age with an ICER of Php 33,126 (783 USD). This strategy may result in a two-thirds reduction in cervical cancer burden. HPV vaccination is not cost-effective when vaccine protection lasts for less than 20 years.
CONCLUSION: High VIA coverage targeting women aged 35-45 years old at five-year intervals is the most efficient and cost-saving strategy in reducing cervical cancer burden in the Philippines. Adding a vaccination program at high coverage among 11-year-old girls is potentially cost-effective in the Philippines assuming a life-long duration of vaccine efficacy.

Mendoza ES, Lopez AA, Valdez VA, et al.
Predictors of incomplete response to therapy among Filipino patients with papillary thyroid cancer in a tertiary hospital.
J Endocrinol Invest. 2016; 39(1):55-62 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Although survival rate in papillary thyroid cancer (PTC) is high, the risk of persistence and recurrence together with the dramatic rise in its incidence cannot be overemphasized. Filipinos are considered to be at greater risk for negative outcomes. A paradigm shift in the management of PTC introduces re-stratification based on response to therapy which was reported to have better correlation with long-term outcome. The study aimed to identify predictors of incomplete response after thyroidectomy and radioiodine therapy among patients with PTC. The results of the study may have important implications in our understanding of the disease process allowing more aggressive treatment and monitoring of certain subgroups of patients.
METHODOLOGY: Retrospective review of 225 patients with PTC (59% ATA low risk, 30 % ATA intermediate risk and 11% ATA high risk) who underwent thyroidectomy and radioiodine therapy was performed. Thirteen variables were considered (age, gender, histopathological variant, stage, extent of disease, MACIS score, AMES score, primary tumour size, lymph node, lymphovascular invasion, bilaterality, multifocality and preoperative TSH level). Logistic regression analysis using Backward Wald algorithm was used to identify independent predictors of incomplete response to therapy after 24 months.
RESULTS: Of the 225 patients, 69 (31%) had incomplete response. Biochemical and structural (predominantly thyroid bed, lung and bone) incomplete response was observed in 6 and 63 patients, respectively. Incomplete response was documented in 8, 54 and 92% of low-, intermediate- and high-risk patients based on ATA recommendation. Incomplete response was significantly dependent on gender, lymph node involvement and location, extent of malignancy and multifocality taking into account the size of concurrent tumours (p < 0.05). The model was found to have high sensitivity (71%) and specificity (96%).
CONCLUSION: A significant fraction of PTC patients experienced incomplete response to therapy. Our data suggest that male gender, lateral or mediastinal lymph node involvement, class III extent of disease by De Groot and multifocality with concurrent tumour or tumours more than 1 cm are major predictors of incomplete response. Not all predictors of recurrence and mortality are consistent predictors of treatment response which may be equally important in a disease with low mortality but significant morbidity like PTC.

Fagan P, Moolchan ET, Pokhrel P, et al.
Biomarkers of tobacco smoke exposure in racial/ethnic groups at high risk for lung cancer.
Am J Public Health. 2015; 105(6):1237-45 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
OBJECTIVES: We examined biomarkers of tobacco smoke exposure among Native Hawaiians, Filipinos, and Whites, groups that have different lung cancer risk.
METHODS: We collected survey data and height, weight, saliva, and carbon monoxide (CO) levels from a sample of daily smokers aged 18-35 (n = 179). Mean measures of nicotine, cotinine, cotinine/cigarettes per day ratio, trans 3' hydroxycotinine, the nicotine metabolite ratio (NMR), and expired CO were compared among racial/ethnic groups.
RESULTS: The geometric means for cotinine, the cotinine/cigarettes per day ratio, and CO did not significantly differ among racial/ethnic groups in the adjusted models. After adjusting for gender, body mass index, menthol smoking, Hispanic ethnicity, and number of cigarettes smoked per day, the NMR was significantly higher among Whites than among Native Hawaiians and Filipinos (NMR = 0.33, 0.20, 0.19, P ≤ .001). The NMR increased with increasing White parental ancestry. The NMR was not significantly correlated with social-environmental stressors.
CONCLUSIONS: Racial/ethnic groups with higher rates of lung cancer had slower nicotine metabolism than Whites. The complex relationship between lung cancer risk and nicotine metabolism among racial/ethnic groups needs further clarification.

Simpson JS, Briggs K, George R
Breast cancer amongst Filipino migrants: a review of the literature and ten-year institutional analysis.
J Immigr Minor Health. 2015; 17(3):729-36 [PubMed] Related Publications
As one migrates from an area of low to high incidence of breast cancer their personal risk of developing breast cancer increases. This is however not equally distributed across all races and ethnicities. This paper specifically examines Filipino migrants. A literature review was conducted to summarize breast cancer incidence, screening practices and trends in treatment amongst Filipino migrants. In addition, a retrospective cohort study was conducted specifically examining the age in which Filipino women were diagnosed with breast cancer compared to Asian and Caucasian counterparts. Filipino women are diagnosed with breast cancer at a statistically significant younger age (53.2) compared to their Asian (55.1) and Caucasian (58.4) counterparts. In addition, they are at an increased risk of developing more aggressive breast cancer with noteworthy disparities in the care they are receiving. The evidence suggest this group is worthy of special focus when diagnosing and treating breast cancer.

Francisco D, Rankin L, Kim SC
Adherence to colorectal cancer and polyps screening recommendations among filipino-americans.
Gastroenterol Nurs. 2014 Nov-Dec; 37(6):384-90 [PubMed] Related Publications
This cross-sectional study explored the perceptions and behaviors toward colorectal cancer screening and the predictors of adherence to colorectal cancer and polyps screening recommendations among Filipino-Americans. A total of 188 participants were recruited from community churches in southern California from September to November 2011. About half of the participants were found to be adherent to the screening recommendations. Multivariate logistic regression analysis revealed the following significant predictors of adherence: having a relative with colon or rectal cancer (odds ratio [OR] = 6.17), having heard of fecal occult blood test (OR = 4.58), strong agreement with benefit of screening in reducing worry about cancer (OR = 2.81), age ≥ 65 years (OR = 2.64) and very easy communication with providers (OR = 2.43). Patient awareness of colorectal cancer screening and its benefits through effective patient-provider communication were significant modifiable predictors of adherence to colorectal cancer and polyps screening recommendations. Nurses could have a major impact in improving screening behaviors through patient education in increasing patient awareness and benefits of cancer screening.

Marom T, Segal D, Erlich T, et al.
Ethical and clinical dilemmas in patients with head and neck tumors visiting a field hospital in the Philippines.
Am J Disaster Med. 2014; 9(3):211-9 [PubMed] Related Publications
OBJECTIVE: To describe clinical and ethical dilemmas in patients presenting with head and neck (H&N) tumors to a field hospital in the "subacute" period following a typhoon.
METHODS: We retrospectively reviewed charts of H&N patients presenting to an integrated Israeli-Filipino medical facility, which was operated more than 11 days.
RESULTS: Of the 1,844 adult patients examined, 85 (5 percent) presented with H&N tumors. Of those, 70 (82 percent) were females, with a mean age of 43 ± 15 years. Thyroid neoplasms were the most common tumors (68, 80 percent). Despite limited resources, we contributed to the workup and treatment of several patients. To better illustrate our dilemmas, we present four key patients, in whom we favored diagnostic/therapeutic interventions in two, and opted to defer any intervention in two.
CONCLUSIONS: In a relief mission, despite the lack of clinical and pathological staging and questionable continuity of care, surgical interventions can be considered for therapeutic, palliative, and diagnostic purposes.

Shyu PT, Oyong GG, Cabrera EC
Cytotoxicity of probiotics from Philippine commercial dairy products on cancer cells and the effect on expression of cfos and cjun early apoptotic-promoting genes and Interleukin-1 β and Tumor Necrosis Factor-α proinflammatory cytokine genes.
Biomed Res Int. 2014; 2014:491740 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
This study determined cytotoxicity of probiotic Lactobacillus spp. from Philippine dairy products on cancer cells and normal fibroblasts and their effects on expression of early apoptotic-promoting cfos, cjun and proinflammatory cytokine IL-1β, TNF-α genes. Cultures were from Yakult, Bear Brand Probiotic Drink, Nido3+ Powdered Milk. Filter-sterilized supernatants from cultures of Lactobacillus spp. were evaluated for cytotoxicity to colon cancer cells (HT-29 and HCT116), leukemia cells (THP-1), and normal human dermal fibroblasts (HDFn) using PrestoBlue. Bleomycin was the positive control. Absolute quantification of transcript levels was conducted using qRT-PCR. Cytotoxicity index profiles on HDFn, THP-1 of all probiotic supernatants and negative controls suggest nontoxicity to the cells when compared to bleomycin, whereas all probiotic supernatants were found to be cytotoxic to HT-29 and HCT-116 colon cancer cell lines. Expression of cfos, cjun transcripts was significantly upregulated in HT-29 and HCT116 cells treated with probiotic supernatants compared to untreated baseline levels (P < 0.05). Expression of IL-1β and TNF-α by lipopolysaccharide-treated macrophages was significantly downregulated in cells with probiotic supernatants compared to those exposed to MRS medium (P < 0.05). Results provide strong support for the role of Lactobacillus spp. studied in anticancer therapy and in prevention of inflammation that may act as precursor to carcinogenesis.

Cagayan MS
Hydatidiform mole and its complications: review of patient profiles and management at the university of the Philippines-Philippine General Hospital.
J Reprod Med. 2014 May-Jun; 59(5-6):235-40 [PubMed] Related Publications
OBJECTIVE: To describe the clinicopathologic profile of patients diagnosed with molar pregnancy and complications associated with the disease and their management at a tertiary government hospital.
STUDY DESIGN: A descriptive retrospective review of medical records of patients diagnosed with hydatidiform mole for a 5-year period was done. The demographics, clinical course, management options and complications, monitoring and progression to malignancy, and histopathologic diagnosis of these patients were reviewed.
RESULTS: From January 2008-December 2012 there were 551 cases of molar pregnancies. The hospital-based incidence of hydatidiform mole was 13.38/1,000 pregnancies. The most common manifestation was vaginal bleeding, with 98% (540/551) of patients. However, 75% (405/540) had significant anemia described as hemoglobin level < 10 mg/dL, and 32% (173/540) had accompanying pallor, hypotension and tachycardia. Other medical complications included those related to increased beta-hCG titers such as preeclampsia, hyperthyroidism and pulmonary insufficiency. The most common histopathologic diagnosis (71%) was complete hydatidiform mole. Seventy percent of patients were given methotrexate chemoprophylaxis, mainly due to serum hCG > 100,000 mIU/ mL. Of the 551 patients 49 (9%) progressed to malignancy within the next 36 months. The mortality rate was 1.6% (9/551). The most common cause of mortality was hemorrhagic complication.
CONCLUSION: At the Philippine General Hospital hydatidiform mole is not uncommon. The knowledge of the clinical course of the condition as well as prompt and appropriate management of complications is integral in its management for an excellent prognosis.

Raymundo EM, Diwa MH, Lapitan MC, et al.
Increased association of the ERG oncoprotein expression in advanced stages of prostate cancer in Filipinos.
Prostate. 2014; 74(11):1079-85 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Filipinos with prostate cancer (CaP) are at increased risk of harboring advanced stages and lower survival rates compared to other Asians. This study aims to investigate prevalence of ETS-related gene (ERG) oncoprotein overexpression in Filipinos as surrogate of TMPRSS2-ERG gene fusions, using a highly specific monoclonal antibody (ERG-MAb), and conduct the first attempt to study the role of genetic alterations in the aggressive tumor biologic behaviour of CaP among Filipinos.
METHODS: This case-matched, case-control retrospective study evaluated ERG expression in Filipino patients diagnosed with CaP and its effect on stage and Gleason grade of their disease. Men who underwent radical prostatectomy for organ-confined disease at the University of the Philippines-Philippine General Hospital (UP-PGH) comprised the organ-confined cohort. Age-matched adults who had trans-rectal ultrasound-guided prostate (TRUSP) biopsy or trans-urethral resection of the prostate (TURP) with bilateral orchiectomy for T4 or stage IV CaP composed the advanced disease cohort.
RESULTS: Overall ERG expression frequency of 23.08% (N = 104) was demonstrated, with a higher rate observed in the advanced disease cohort (32.69%) compared to the organ-confined group (13.46%). Furthermore, ERG overexpression was only detected among intermediate and high-risk tumors. A high-specificity (98.08%) of the ERG-MAb for malignant prostatic cells was likewise demonstrated.
CONCLUSIONS: In contrast to higher ERG frequency in Western countries, it is much lower in Filipino CaP, which is similar to lower rates noted from other Asian countries. The 98.08% specificity of ERG oncoprotein for prostate tumor cells combined with its increased association in advanced disease, suggests for prognostic potential of ERG that may aid clinicians in treatment decisions for Filipino CaP patients.

Maxwell AE, Danao LL, Cayetano RT, et al.
Adoption of an evidence-based colorectal cancer screening promotion program by community organizations serving Filipino Americans.
BMC Public Health. 2014; 14:246 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Filipino Americans have low rates of colorectal cancer (CRC) screening and high CRC mortality. To reduce this disparity, we conducted a dissemination trial in which we offered two levels of technical assistance to community organizations to disseminate an evidence-based CRC screening promotion program among their Filipino American members. This report describes the recruitment of organizations and adoption - the proportion and representativeness of organizations that decided to implement the program.
METHODS: During the recruitment phase, we completed organizational assessments with 44 community-based organizations (previous partners in research, organizations that were referred to us, or new organizations) to assess their eligibility to participate (having≥150 Filipino American members age 50+). We compared organizational characteristics of organizations that did and did not adopt our CRC screening promotion program.
RESULTS: Twenty two of the 44 community organizations that completed the assessment adopted the CRC screening promotion program (50%). Adoption was highest among organizations that had previously partnered with us (11/14=79%) and among organizations that were referred to us by community partners (5/10=50%) and lowest among new organizations (6/20=30%). Few organizational differences were found between adopters and non-adopters.
CONCLUSIONS: The high rate of adoption among organizations that were referred by community partners or had partnered with us in the past underscores the importance of community resources, community-academic relationships, and partnership in the dissemination process. However, the moderate rate of adoption among new organizations and the demands of completing documentation and assessments in our trial to advance dissemination research raise questions regarding the generalizability of study findings.

Ladabaum U, Clarke CA, Press DJ, et al.
Colorectal cancer incidence in Asian populations in California: effect of nativity and neighborhood-level factors.
Am J Gastroenterol. 2014; 109(4):579-88 [PubMed] Related Publications
OBJECTIVES: Heritable and environmental factors may contribute to differences in colorectal cancer (CRC) incidence across populations. We capitalized on the resources of the California Cancer Registry (CCR) and California's diverse Asian population to perform a cohort study exploring the relationships between CRC incidence, nativity, and neighborhood-level factors across Asian subgroups.
METHODS: We identified CRC cases in the CCR from 1990 to 2004 and calculated age-adjusted CRC incidence rates for non-Hispanic Whites and US-born vs. foreign-born Asian ethnic subgroups, stratified by neighborhood socioeconomic status (SES) and "ethnic enclave." Trends were studied with joinpoint analysis.
RESULTS: CRC incidence was lowest among foreign-born South Asians (22.0/100,000; 95% confidence interval (CI): 19.7-24.5/100,000) and highest among foreign-born Japanese (74.6/100,000; 95% CI: 70.1-79.2/100,000). Women in all Asian subgroups except Japanese, and men in all Asian subgroups except Japanese and US-born Chinese, had lower CRC incidence than non-Hispanic Whites. Among Chinese men and Filipino women and men, CRC incidence was lower among foreign-born than US-born persons; the opposite was observed for Japanese women and men. Among non-Hispanic Whites, but not most Asian subgroups, CRC incidence decreased over time. CRC incidence was inversely associated with neighborhood SES among non-Hispanic Whites, and level of ethnic enclave among Asians.
CONCLUSIONS: CRC incidence rates differ substantially across Asian subgroups in California. The significant associations between CRC incidence and nativity and residence in an ethnic enclave suggest a substantial effect of acquired environmental factors. The absence of declines in CRC incidence rates among most Asians during our study period may point to disparities in screening compared with Whites.

Villero O, Macaerag I, Burke NJ
Pakikisama: lessons learned in partnership building with Filipinas with breast cancer for culturally meaningful support.
Glob Health Promot. 2014; 21(1):68-72 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
San Francisco Bay Area Filipinas with breast cancer underutilize support services. Our partnership engaged in community-based participatory research (CBPR) that involved formation of a community advisory board (CAB) representing low-income, low-English-proficient Filipinas with breast cancer. While CABs are a standard component of CBPR projects, the process of establishing and fostering CAB involvement has been under studied. This commentary explores the process our team used-building upon the Filipino cultural method of pakikisama which stresses making the other feel welcome, safe, and nurtured-to overcome barriers to active engagement. Challenges included minimizing power imbalances between the research team and CAB, and the establishment of an environment of familiarity, trust and caring among CAB members. We recorded all CAB meetings, transcribed them verbatim, and Tagalog portions were transcribed into English for analysis. Mobilizing pakikisama supported partnership building and allowed CAB members to engage in inclusive dialogue and formulate a culturally relevant support model.

Bilano VL, Borja MP, Cruz EL, et al.
Smoking-attributable burden of lung cancer in the Philippines.
Tob Control. 2015; 24(3):263-8 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: In the Philippines, smoking is highly prevalent and tobacco control policies fail to fully implement the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control provisions. To aid in policy change, intervention implementation, monitoring and evaluation, this study aimed to provide the first internally consistent and latest Philippine estimates of the following: disability-adjusted life-years (DALYs) lost due to lung cancer; population-attributable fractions (PAFs) of smoking; and smoking-attributable lung cancer DALYs.
METHODS: This study applied the Global Burden of Disease and Comparative Risk Assessment frameworks to secondary data, supplemented by expert opinion. A comprehensive internally consistent assessment of disease epidemiology was conducted using DISMOD II and disease impact was quantified as DALYs. PAFs were calculated using the smoking impact ratio and Monte Carlo uncertainty analyses were conducted.
RESULTS: For 2008, lung cancer incidence and mortality estimates were 10 871 cases and 9871 deaths respectively. Lung cancer accounted for an estimated 267 787 DALYs lost, 99% of which were due to years of life lost. Overall, the PAF of smoking was 65% and a total of 173 103 DALYs were smoking-attributable. There were increasing trends in incidence, mortality and DALY rates with age. The majority of incidence (72%), mortality (71%) and disease burden (72%) occurred among men, who also had higher PAF estimates.
CONCLUSIONS: Considerable health gains could be achieved if smoking exposure were reduced in the Philippines. Strong enforcement of measures like increasing taxation to the WHO-endorsed rate, expanding smoke-free environments, and requiring large graphic warnings within a comprehensive tobacco control programme is recommended.

Albano PM, Lumang-Salvador C, Orosa J, et al.
Overall survival of Filipino patients with squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck: a single-institution experience.
Asian Pac J Cancer Prev. 2013; 14(8):4769-74 [PubMed] Related Publications
This paper is the first to present the incidence and overall survival of patients with squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck (SCCHN) from the extreme northern part of the Philippines. We retrospectively retrieved the records of patients with histologically-confirmed squamous cell carcinoma of the oral cavity, oropharynx, hypopharynx and larynx at the Mariano Marcos Memorial Hospital and Medical Center, Ilocos Norte, Philippines, from 2003 to 2012 and analysed prognostic factors associated with survival. Of the 150 cases, only 80 (53.3%) were still living when the study was terminated. Median age at initial diagnosis was 61.5 years and the male to female ratio was 7:3. The majority of the cases had tumours in the oral cavity (50.7%), followed by the larynx (36.7%). Sex (log rank=1.94, p value/α=0.16), tumor site (log rank=0.02, p value/α=0.90), tumor grade (log rank=1.74, p value/α=0.42), and node stage (log rank=0.07, p value/α=0.80) were not shown to be associated with the survival of our cases. Only 45 (30.0%) had no regional lymph node involvement (N0) at presentation and 12 (8.0%) had already developed distant metastases. Among the 150 patients, 71 (47.3%) were not able to receive treatment of any kind. Oddly, treatment (log rank=1.65, p value/α=0.20) was also shown to be not associated with survival. The survival rate of those who underwent surgery, radiotherapy, or both was not statistically different from those who did not receive any treatment. Only the tumor stage (log rank=4.51, p value/α=0.03) was associated with patient survival. The overall mean survival was 49.3 months, with survival rate diminishing from 88.3% during the 1st year to 1.80% by end of the study. This relatively low survival rate of our cases only reflects their poor access to quality diagnostic and treatment facilities.

Que JC, Sy Ortin TT, Anderson KO, et al.
Depressive symptoms among cancer patients in a Philippine tertiary hospital: prevalence, factors, and influence on health-related quality of life.
J Palliat Med. 2013; 16(10):1280-4 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: The World Health Organization recognizes depression as one of the most burdensome diseases in the world. Among cancer patients, depression is significantly associated with shorter survival, independent of the influence of biomedical prognostic factors. Although cancer is the third leading cause of morbidity and mortality among Filipinos, little is known about depressive symptoms and their influence on health-related quality of life in this population. We assessed the prevalence of, and factors associated with, depressive symptoms and their influence on health-related quality of life in Filipino patients with cancer.
METHODS: The Patient Health Questionnaire (PHQ)-8 and the European Organization for Research and Treatment of Cancer Quality of Life Questionnaire Core 30 were administered to all inpatients and outpatients, age >=18 years presenting for cancer treatment.
RESULTS: Twenty-two percent (n=53/247) were categorized as depressed, using a PHQ-8 cutoff of ≥10. Depressed patients scored lower on cognitive, emotional, role, physical, and social functioning than those who scored PHQ<10 (all P<0.001). Depression varied by disease status, performance status and marital status (all P<0.001). However, only performance status (OR [odds ratio]=2.20; 95% CI=1.60, 3.00) and disease status (OR=2.4; 95% CI=1.13, 5.22) were significantly associated with depression in the multivariable model.
CONCLUSIONS: Depression is prevalent in Filipino cancer patients. The findings provide empirical support for the development of mental health services in this understudied population. This study, the first to assess the prevalence of and factors associated with depression in Filipino cancer patients, needs further validation.

Sarmiento MP, Mejia MB
Preliminary assessment of nasopharyngeal carcinoma incidence in the Philippines: a second look at published data from four centers.
Chin J Cancer. 2014; 33(3):159-64 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
In endemic regions such as southern China and Southeast Asia, the annual incidence of nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC) ranges from 3 to 30 per 100,000. In the Philippines, the estimated incidence in 2010 was 1.2 per 100,000. However, this rate is based on data collected from registries covering only two regions in the country. Here, we report the findings from our study to better approximate the incidence of NPC in the Philippines. Between September 1, 2011 and August 31, 2012, data were collected from 49 patients from 4 different institutions-University of Santo Tomas, Makati Medical Center, Philippine Oncology Center Corporation, and Cardinal Santos Memorial Medical Center-using a NPC screening questionnaire. Crude incidence was 0.09 per 100,000. Age-standardized incidences using Segi and WHO standards were 2.08 and 1.79 per 100,000, respectively. Of the 49 patients, 31 were males and 18 were females, and 71% of patients were between 30 and 59 years old. WHO types II and III represented 22% and 78% of the subjects, respectively, and 75.5% of cases were locally advanced (stages III-IVB). Although the age-standardized incidence from the 4 institutions was numerically higher than the published age-standardized incidence (2.07 per 100,000 vs. 1.2 per 100,000), two-proportion z-test showed no significant difference between them (P = 0.68). A more concerted effort is needed for a better approximation of the country's NPC disease burden.

Gomez SL, Noone AM, Lichtensztajn DY, et al.
Cancer incidence trends among Asian American populations in the United States, 1990-2008.
J Natl Cancer Inst. 2013; 105(15):1096-110 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: National cancer incidence trends are presented for eight Asian American groups: Asian Indians/Pakistanis, Chinese, Filipinos, Japanese, Kampucheans, Koreans, Laotians, and Vietnamese.
METHODS: Cancer incidence data from 1990 through 2008 were obtained from 13 Surveillance, Epidemiology, End Results (SEER) registries. Incidence rates from 1990 through 2008 and average percentage change were computed using SEER*Stat and Joinpoint software. The annual percentage change (APC) in incidence rates was estimated with 95% confidence intervals (95% CIs) calculated for both the rate and APC estimates. Rates for non-Hispanic whites are presented for comparison.
RESULTS: Prostate cancer was the most common malignancy among most groups, followed by lung, colorectal, liver, and stomach cancers. Breast cancer was generally the most common cancer in women, followed by colorectal and lung cancers; liver, cervix, thyroid, and stomach cancers also ranked highly. Among men, increasing trends were observed for prostate (Asian Indians and Pakistanis: APC 1990-2003 = 2.2, 95% CI = 0.3 to 4.1; Filipinos: APC 1990-1994 = 19.0, 95% CI = 4.5 to 35.4; Koreans: APC 1990-2008 = 2.9, 95% CI = 1.8 to 4.0), colorectal (Koreans: APC 1990-2008 = 2.2, 95% CI = 0.9 to 3.5), and liver cancers (Filipinos: APC 1990-2008 = 1.6, 95% CI = 0.4 to 2.7; Koreans: APC 1990-2006 = 2.1, 95% CI = 0.4 to 3.7; Vietnamese: APC 1990-2008 = 1.6, 95% CI = 0.3 to 2.8), whereas lung and stomach cancers generally remained stable or decreased. Among women, increases were observed for uterine cancer (Asian Indians: APC 1990-2008 = 3.0, 95% CI = 0.3 to 5.8; Chinese: APC 2004-2008 = 7.0, 95% CI = 1.4 to 12.9; Filipina: APC 1990-2008 = 3.0, 95% CI = 2.4 to 3.7; Japanese: APC 1990-2008 = 1.1, 95% CI = 0.1 to 2.0), colorectal cancer (Koreans: APC 1990-2008 = 2.8, 95% CI = 1.7 to 3.9; Laotians: APC: 1990-2008 = 5.9, 95% CI = 4.0 to 7.7), lung cancer (Filipinas: APC 1990-2008 = 2.1, 95% CI = 1.4 to 2.8; Koreans: APC 1990-2008 = 2.1, 95% CI = 0.6 to 3.6), thyroid cancer (Filipinas: APC 1990-2008 = 2.5, 95% CI = 1.7 to 3.3), and breast cancer in most groups (APC 1990-2008 from 1.2 among Vietnamese and Chinese to 4.7 among Koreans). Decreases were observed for stomach (Chinese and Japanese), colorectal (Chinese), and cervical cancers (Laotians and Vietnamese).
CONCLUSIONS: These data fill a critical knowledge gap concerning the cancer experience of Asian American groups and highlight where increased preventive, screening, and surveillance efforts are needed-in particular, lung cancer among Filipina and Korean women and Asian Indian/Pakistani men, breast cancer among all women, and liver cancer among Vietnamese, Laotian, and Kampuchean women and Filipino, Kampuchean, and Vietnamese men.

Sentell T, Dela Cruz MR, Heo HH, Braun KL
Health literacy, health communication challenges, and cancer screening among rural native Hawaiian and Filipino women.
J Cancer Educ. 2013; 28(2):325-34 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Native Hawaiians and Filipinos are disproportionately impacted by cancer and are less likely to participate in cancer screening than whites. Limited information exists about health information pathways and health communication challenges as they relate to cancer screening in these groups. Six focus groups (n=77) of Native Hawaiian and Filipino women age 40+years were conducted to investigate these research gaps. Participants noted many health information challenges. Challenges were both practical and interpersonal and included both written and oral health communication. Practical challenges included "big" words, complexity of terms, and lack of plain English. Interpersonal issues included doctors rushing, doctors not assessing comprehension, and doctors treating respondents as patients not people. Women noted that they would often not ask questions even when they knew they did not understand because they did not want the provider to think negatively of them. Overarching themes to improve cancer communication gaps included: (1) the importance of family and community in health information dissemination, (2) the key role women play in interpreting health information for others, (3) the importance of personal experience and relationships to the salience of health information, and (4) the desire for local cultural relevance in health communication. Findings are discussed in light of the 2010 National Action Plan for Health Literacy.

Quek SC, Lim BK, Domingo E, et al.
Human papillomavirus type distribution in invasive cervical cancer and high-grade cervical intraepithelial neoplasia across 5 countries in Asia.
Int J Gynecol Cancer. 2013; 23(1):148-56 [PubMed] Related Publications
OBJECTIVE: Independent, prospective, multicenter, hospital-based cross-sectional studies were conducted across 5 countries in Asia, namely, Malaysia, Vietnam, Singapore, South Korea, and the Philippines. The objectives of these studies were to evaluate the prevalence of human papillomavirus (HPV) types (high risk and others including coinfections) in women with invasive cervical cancer (ICC) and high-grade precancerous lesions.
METHODS: Women older than 21 years with a histologic diagnosis of ICC and cervical intraepithelial neoplasia [CIN 2 or 3 and adenocarcinoma in situ (AIS)] were enrolled. Cervical specimens were reviewed by histopathologists to confirm the presence of ICC or CIN 2/3/AIS lesion and tested with short PCR fragment 10-DNA enzyme immunoassay-line probe assay for 14 oncogenic HPV types and 11 non-oncogenic HPV types. The prevalence of HPV 16, HPV 18, and other high-risk HPV types in ICC [including squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) and adenocarcinoma/adenosquamous carcinoma (ADC/ASC)] and CIN 2/3/AIS was estimated.
RESULTS: In the 5 Asian countries, diagnosis of ICC was confirmed in 500 women [SCC (n = 392) and ADC/ASC (n = 108)], and CIN 2/3/AIS, in 411 women. Human papillomavirus DNA was detected in 93.8% to 97.0% (84.5% for the Philippines) of confirmed ICC cases [94.0%-98.7% of SCC; 87.0%-94.3% (50.0% for the Philippines) of ADC/ASC] and in 93.7% to 100.0% of CIN 2/3/AIS. The most common types observed among ICC cases were HPV 16 (36.8%-61.3%), HPV 18 (12.9%-35.4%), HPV 52 (5.4%-10.3%), and HPV 45 (1.5%-17.2%), whereas among CIN 2/3/AIS cases, HPV 16 (29.7%-46.6%) was the most commonly observed type followed by HPV 52 (17.0%-66.7%) and HPV 58 (8.6%-16.0%).
CONCLUSIONS: This article presents the data on the HPV prevalence, HPV type distribution, and their role in cervical carcinogenesis in 5 Asian countries. These data are of relevance to public health authorities for evaluating the existing and future cervical cancer prevention strategies including HPV-DNA testing-based screening and HPV vaccination in these Asian populations.

Lagman RA, Yoo GJ, Levine EG, et al.
"Leaving it to God" religion and spirituality among Filipina immigrant breast cancer survivors.
J Relig Health. 2014; 53(2):449-60 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Many Filipinos have a powerful adherence to Catholicism. However, little is known about spirituality and religious involvement of Filipina Americans who have been diagnosed with breast cancer. Ten (n = 10) in-depth qualitative interviews with Filipina immigrant breast cancer survivors identified prayer to be the most common religious practice, followed by prayers by others and spiritual support from the Catholic Church. These findings can help clinicians and researchers understand the role of spirituality and religion in providing comfort and support for Filipina immigrant breast cancer patient as they face the stress of diagnosis and treatment.

de Guzman AB, Jimenez BC, Jocson KP, et al.
This too shall pass: a grounded theory study of Filipino cancer survivorship.
J Holist Nurs. 2013; 31(1):35-46 [PubMed] Related Publications
Considering the paucity of studies dealing with the holistic aspect of the cancer experience, this grounded theory study seeks to conceptualize the process of cancer survivorship among Filipinos. Twenty-seven Filipino cancer survivors were purposively selected, and a two-part instrument, specifically robotfoto and focus group interviews, was used to gather data. The Glaserian method of grounded theory analysis was used, and extended texts were analyzed inductively via a dendrogram. Member checking and correspondence were observed to validate the surfacing stages, leading to the conceptualization of a theoretical model termed as the Ribbon of Cancer Survivorship. The said model describes the trifling (living before), transfusing (accepting the reality), transforming (being strong), and transcending (living beyond) phases of cancer survivorship. Ten interesting substages were also identified, namely: tainting, desolating, disrupting, and embracing for the transfusing phase; tormenting, distressing, awakening, and transfiguring for the transforming phase, and trembling and enlivening for the transcending phase. The resulting theoretical model has clearly and successfully described the entire process of cancer survivorship among Filipinos. It is hoped that the model be used as a reference for future studies about cancer survivorship and as a guide for nurses in providing a more empathetic care among cancer patients.

Maxwell AE, Danao LL, Bastani R
Dissemination of colorectal cancer screening by Filipino American community health advisors: a feasibility study.
Health Promot Pract. 2013; 14(4):498-505 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Filipino Americans underutilize life-saving screening tests for colorectal cancer, resulting in late stage of diagnosis and poor survival relative to other racial/ethnic groups. Education regarding colorectal cancer screening and distribution of free fecal occult blood test (FOBT) kits are evidence-based interventions that can significantly increase screening. However, this community will only benefit if the intervention is broadly disseminated.
METHODS: We assessed the feasibility of promoting colorectal cancer screening in Filipino American community settings working with community health advisors, and the practicality of conducting one-on-one or small group education, in addition to passing out free FOBT kits.
RESULTS: Twenty community health advisors from 4 organizations engaged in recruitment and education activities with 132 participants. Community health advisors consistently completed screening questionnaires to establish eligibility and kept logs of FOBT distribution. However, they did not consistently record eligible participants who did not consent to participate. Process checklists that indicated what information was covered in each educational session and postsession follow-up logs were partially completed. Almost all participants reported receipt of intervention components and receipt of screening at 4-month follow-up and reported high acceptability of the program.
DISCUSSION: The pilot study established the feasibility of working with community health advisors to promote colorectal cancer screening in Filipino American community settings. Findings informed the design of a dissemination trial that is currently ongoing with regards to monitoring recruitment, intervention implementation and follow-up and allowing flexibility regarding one-on-one or small group education.

Naito Y, Uchiyama K, Kinoshita Y, et al.
A questionnaire-based survey on screening for gastric and colorectal cancer by physicians in East Asian countries in 2010.
Digestion. 2012; 86(2):94-106 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: The incidence of gastric cancer (GC) is high, and colorectal cancer (CRC) has significantly increased in Asian countries.
AIM: To examine the current screening for GC and CRC within East Asia by means of a questionnaire survey.
METHODS: Representative members of the Committee of the International Gastrointestinal Consensus Symposium provided a questionnaire to physicians in six East Asian countries.
RESULTS: A total of 449 physicians participated in this survey. In all countries, more than 70% of physicians started GC screening between 40 and 59 years. The most popular method to screen for GC was endoscopy (92.7%), but combination methods such as Helicobacter pylori (HP) antibody, barium X-ray, and tumor marker with endoscopy differed by country. For HP-positive individuals, most physicians screened every year by endoscopy, and for individuals post-HP eradication, about half of physicians (56.3%) thought there was a need to follow-up with GC screening. Among all physicians, the most common age to start CRC screening was in the 40s (39.8%) and 50s (40.9%). Based on the American Cancer Society Recommendations, a fecal occult blood test every year was the most popular method for CRC screening overall. However, among each country, this test was most popular in only Japan (76.9%) and Indonesia. In other countries, sigmoidoscopy every 5 years and total colonoscopy every 10 years were the most popular methods.
CONCLUSION: There are similarities and differences in the screening of GC and CRC among East Asian countries.

Giddings BH, Kwong SL, Parikh-Patel A, et al.
Going against the tide: increasing incidence of colorectal cancer among Koreans, Filipinos, and South Asians in California, 1988-2007.
Cancer Causes Control. 2012; 23(5):691-702 [PubMed] Related Publications
OBJECTIVE: Colorectal cancer has declined markedly in California for all major racial/ethnic groups, including Asian/Pacific Islanders as a whole. Analyzing cancer data for Asian/Pacific Islanders collectively masks important differences that exist between individual Asian subgroups. This study examines secular, sex-, age-, and socioeconomic-specific trends in colorectal cancer incidence among six Asian subgroups-Chinese, Japanese, Filipino, Korean, Vietnamese, and South Asian-to determine whether these groups experienced a decline in colorectal cancer incidence and to assess possible differences in colorectal cancer incidence trends among these groups.
METHODS: Cases of invasive colorectal cancer diagnosed among Japanese, Chinese, Filipinos, Koreans, Vietnamese, and South Asians between 1988 and 2007 were identified using the California Cancer Registry database. Secular, sex-, age-, and socioeconomic-specific trends in the age-adjusted colorectal cancer incidence rates for each Asian subgroup were examined using joinpoint analysis to estimate the annual percent change (APC).
RESULTS: Among males, Koreans (APC, 3.6 %) were the only group that experienced a significant increase in colorectal cancer incidence. Among females, Koreans (APC, 2.7 %), South Asians (APC, 2.8 %), and Filipinos (APC, 1.6 %) experienced significant increases. Stratification by age at diagnosis revealed that Korean males (APC, 3.4 %) and females (APC, 2.9 %) as well as Filipino females (APC, 1.8 %) aged 50 years and older experienced a significant increase in colorectal cancer incidence. Korean males aged less than 50 years (APC, 3.4 %) also experienced a significant increase. Japanese (APC, -1.2 %) and Chinese (APC, -1.6 %) males aged 50 years and older experienced a significant decrease in colorectal cancer incidence. Stratification by socioeconomic status (SES) revealed that Korean males (APC, 2.5 %) and females (APC, 2.9 %) as well as Filipino females (APC, 2.1 %) in the lowest SES category experienced a significant increase in colorectal cancer incidence. Korean males (APC, 5.2 %) and females (APC, 3.1 %) as well as Filipino males (APC, 1.5 %) in the highest SES category also experienced a significant increase. Japanese males (APC, -2.5 %) and females (APC, -2.0 %) as well as Chinese males (APC, -2.8 %) and females (APC, -2.9 %) in the lowest SES category experienced a significant decrease. Chinese males in the middle (APC, -3.4 %) and highest (APC, -3.5 %) SES categories also experienced significant decreases in colorectal cancer incidence.
CONCLUSIONS: In contrast to the decreasing trends in colorectal cancer incidence reported among all major racial/ethnic groups including Asian/Pacific Islanders, colorectal cancer is actually increasing among some Asian subgroups in California including Korean males and females, as well as South Asian and Filipino females. Furthermore, the colorectal cancer incidence trends for these Asian subgroups differ with respect to age at diagnosis and socioeconomic status. These findings suggest that more efforts need to be made to target these populations with culturally sensitive cancer prevention and screening programs. More research is needed to examine the differences in the colorectal cancer burden among these populations.

Maxwell AE, Danao LL, Cayetano RT, et al.
Evaluating the training of Filipino American community health advisors to disseminate colorectal cancer screening.
J Community Health. 2012; 37(6):1218-25 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Community health advisor-led interventions are associated with improved health promotion behaviors, such as cancer screening, but the process of training community health advisors is rarely described and evaluated. We trained 91 Filipino Americans from 19 organizations to conduct small-group sessions with members of their organizations to promote colorectal cancer screening. Community health advisors completed brief pre- and post-training surveys that included knowledge of colorectal cancer screening guidelines (four items), perceived self-efficacy of performing specific tasks (15-item scale, Cronbach's alpha > 0.90) and satisfaction with the training itself (five items). Community health advisors had high levels of knowledge and self-efficacy at pre-training, but levels increased significantly immediately after the 6-h training (percent of knowledge items answered correctly: 63-94 %; self-efficacy: 8.2-8.9 on a 10 point scale, both p < 0.001). Correlates of self-efficacy at pre- and post-test were high educational attainment, health care background, high level of participation in the organization, being perceived by others as a leader, and frequent participation in research activities in the past. Consistent evaluation measuring similar constructs across studies may help to standardize the quality of the training, and may improve the implementation of community health advisor-led programs.

Chuang E, Paul C, Flam A, et al.
Breast cancer subtypes in Asian-Americans differ according to Asian ethnic group.
J Immigr Minor Health. 2012; 14(5):754-8 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Breast cancer prognosis and breast cancer molecular subtype vary by race/ethnicity. We determined whether the distribution of breast cancer subtypes varies among different Asian ethnic groups. Using immunohistochemical surrogates for the four molecularly defined breast cancer subtypes, we characterized breast cancer subtype for 346 Asian subjects treated at two New York City institutions. We found that Chinese and Japanese had a higher proportion of good-prognosis luminal A cancers (66.7 and 80.0%, respectively) compared to Filipinos and Koreans (48.5 and 47.1%) (P = 0.001). Filipinos had a higher proportion of HER-2/neu positive cancers (45.6%) compared to other ethnic groups (23.6%) (P = 0.002).Koreans had a higher proportion of triple negative cancers(23.5%) compared to other ethnic groups (7.5%) (P =0.06). The results suggest that differences exist in breast cancer tumor biology among distinct Asian ethnic groups and have implications for cancer care and research. Future studies of breast cancer in Asian-Americans should distinguish among the different ethnic groups.

Burke NJ, Villero O, Guerra C
Passing through: meanings of survivorship and support among Filipinas with breast cancer.
Qual Health Res. 2012; 22(2):189-98 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Breast cancer among Filipinas in the United States is a major but largely neglected cancer disparity. In 2004, a community- university partnership resulted in the first Filipina breast cancer support group in the San Francisco Bay Area. Building on this partnership, we explored the social and cultural contexts of Filipinas' experiences with breast cancer to inform development of culturally appropriate and sustainable support services and outreach. We utilized multiple qualitative methods (participant observation, individual and small group in-depth qualitative interviews) to identify meanings of survivorship and support. Interviews and observations revealed the influences of social context and immigration experiences on women's understandings of cancer, what "surviving" cancer means, and what it means to take care of someone with breast cancer (or be taken care of). Our findings highlight the importance of a transnational perspective for the study of immigrant women's experiences of cancer and survivorship.

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