Palawan medical professionals reminded Palaweños that cigarette smoking remains the main cause of most cancer types.

Dr. Joseph Tovera, a clinical expert in Palawan, said in a press conference Thursday to promote a benefit concert for the Palawan Cancer Support Group that this conclusion is well established by science.

“Sa lahat ng toxins, carcinogenic, ito na talaga, ‘yong usok ng sigarilyo. Well-established ng science ang causalty. Wala ng pagdududa ang mga scientists and even clinical experts na ito na ang number one cause ng cancer because the cigarette smoke can cause lung cancer, gum, lips, esophagus, lahat ng dadaanan ng usok,” Tovera said.

“You can help us, the medical community to spread the knowledge that this one really causes the most number of cancer not only in lungs but almost every part of the body,” he told reporters.

Based on Palawan records, however, breast cancer is still the most common disease, followed by lung cancer, colon, and gastric cancer, head and neck cancer, blood disorders such as lymphoma, leukemia, and others.

“This is because ang mga kababaihan as they aged, their exposure to many stresses and risk factors particularly obesity, diabetes, lifestyle. Nowadays, hindi na dapat kinakatakutan ang breast cancer—with appropriate treatment and management, we can make them live long and enjoy their lives as well,” he said.

Tovera said that Palawan has also records of men having breast cancer.

“Marami kasi ‘yong molecular subtypes ng breast cancer but most of the breast cancer, maging babae o lalaki, these are hormonal responsive of breast tumors. May males din kasi na highly-exposed to high levels of estrogen and that will give them a significant risk of breast cancer,” he said.

Tovera said that men also have breasts, which are smaller compared to women and usually become muscular.

“The more ‘yong fatty component ng breast ng lalaki that will give them a higher risk of developing breast cancer. Kapag mas muscular siya, kasi ‘yong cancer, tumutubo talaga sa non-muscular. The male breast is also responsive to hormones, ‘yon nga lang noong tayo ay ipinanganak as we grew up, less ‘yong estrogen natin so it’s not well-developed as the ladies’,” he said.

He said that there must be intensive research to prove the hypothesis that food which contains estrogen and steroid contributes to breast cancer.

Tovera said that acrolein from burnt fats is a carcinogenic compound that causes cancer.

“”Yong grilled meat, kapag nasunog ‘yong fats, the process converts that fat into acrolein. Ang acrolein is basically a carcinogenic compound. Parang mantika na pinagmantikaan natin kahapon, pinagprituhan uli at pagpiprituhan pa ulit hanggang sa nangitim. That basically contains acrolein,” he said.

He said that cooking oil must be discarded. He said that the formation of carcinogen takes a decade to be processed.


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is one of the senior reporters of Palawan News. She covers agriculture, business, and different feature stories. Her interests are collecting empty bottles, aesthetic earrings, and anything that is color yellow.