The newly-opened chemotherapy facility of Ace Medical Center. (PN photo)

The newly opened chemotherapy/cancer care unit of ACE Medical Center-Palawan (AMC-Palawan) will be more than just a treatment facility but a refuge for cancer patients and their families, hospital director Dr. Joseph Tovera said.

Tovera also said that the cancer center, AMC-Palawan, is also launching research, advocacy, diagnostics, training, and education for cancer patients.

Aside from chemotherapy sessions, the cancer unit also offers blood transfusions, patient education, patient/family counseling, and tumor board/multi-disciplinary care.

“With more services, this cancer center will employ a comprehensive and holistic approach in managing our patients and their families,” Tovera said.

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He also said that because of the high cost of cancer treatment, they are looking for new ways to help patients.

“We are bringing in advocates, stakeholders, NGOs, the government—PCSO and Philhealth, para mas comprehensive yung gamutan natin ng cancer,” he explained.

“We asked for a reduced price from our partners in the international community. And we really need to establish linkages, partnerships with our local counterparts. It’s just knowing what they can do to help our patients,” he added.

He particularly made mention of Pilipinas Shell Foundation, Inc. which he said has been a partner for several years, helping cancer patients in particular, lalo na yung mga nangangailangan – yung mga nasa marginalized society.

Tovera further stated that more than the disease itself, they are also focusing on other aspects of treatment of patients, which they have also been working on with the Palawan Cancer Support Group (PCSG).

“Ang paggamot ng cancer is not only by spending money for this chemotherapy and diagnostics treatment. Sometimes, to be practical, the patient can still win the battle against cancer without undergoing chemotherapy – meaning, the social aspect of the disease, the emotional, the spiritual aspect. Imagine yung mga gumagastos ng pera but hindi sila kalmado because they are not emotionally and spiritually prepared to die,” he explained.

“So with the holistic approach, yung mabigat na gastusin ay maibsan sa pamamagitan ng pagtutulungan. And then, yung ibang aspeto ng disease – social, emotional, spiritual, psychological – will also be addressed by bringing in the PCSG,” he added.

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