Filipina Immigrants In Canada Get Breast Cancer At An Earlier Age Than Others — Study


Philippine Daily Inquirer
by US Bureau


DALY CITY, California – Filipino women who move to Canada tend to get breast cancer at a younger age than women from other parts of East Asia or Caucasians, according to a recent study.
The study titled “Breast Cancer Amongst Filipino Migrants: A Review of the Literature and Ten-Year
Institutional Analysis” found they were also more likely to be diagnosed with a more aggressive form of cancer and to undergo a mastectomy.
Of the 782 patients studied at St. Michael’s Hospital in Toronto, which has a sizeable Filipino patient population, Filipino newcomers to Canada were diagnosed with breast cancer at a younger age (53), compared with other East Asians (55) and Caucasians (58), the study showed.
“The Canadian Filipino community is a growing community and this new research raises the question of whether our current Canadian guidelines calling for mammograms starting at age 50 are meeting specific cultural needs of different ethnicities when it is known that it takes years for a breast cancer to develop,” said Dr. Jory Simpson, a surgical oncologist in the CIBC Breast Centre of St. Michael’s and one of the study’s three authors.
The study also showed that 22.6 percent of Filipinos tested positive for human epidermal growth factor receptor 2, a protein that promotes the growth of cancer cells. In a statement, Simpson said this was “disproportionately high” compared with East Asians (14.4 percent) and Caucasians (15.1 percent).
At least 35 percent of Filipino women with the same size tumors as other groups underwent mastectomies, higher than Caucasians at 22.5 percent and East Asians at 28.3 percent, the study further said.
“As Canada continues to ethnically diversify this new research only highlights and magnifies the need to take on a more personalized approach to preventing and treating breast cancer,” said Simpson, who explained that women of different ethnic origins have different risks of developing breast cancer.
When women from an area of low incidence of breast cancer to an area of high incidence, their risk increases, possibly due to new environmental influences such as diet interacting with pre-existing genetics. Simpson said he believes his study – albeit a small sample at one hospital – is the first to look at the incidence of breast cancer in Filipino immigrants to Canada.
According to Statistics Canada, Filipinos are the third largest non-European ethnic group in the country. Of the 328,000 people of Filipino origin who live in Canada, many are young women.
“Many questions remain such as: how do we increase awareness about the benefits of screening mammography in the Filipino community? Should screening start at an earlier age? And finally, how do we ensure that the Filipino women are getting the adequate treatment given the aggressive nature of their breast cancer? Addressing these disparities should be viewed as a priority in breast cancer research,” the study noted.



Philippine Daily Inquirer
by US Bureau



Balikbayan For Good? Some OFWs Now Going Beyond Remittances


'Whether it's for professional growth, familial ties, or personal relations, more and more Filipinos are now buying a one-way-ticket back to the Philippines,' says the Commission on Filipinos Overseas

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"This is a trend that continues to increase, and that's good news. We have always encouraged overseas Filipinos to come to the Philippines whether for a visit or to stay for good," said Commission on Filipinos Overseas (CFO) Chairperson Imelda Nicolas.MANILA, Philippines – Balikbayan is a term often used to desrcibe anyone who "comes home" to the Philippines, whether temporarily or permanently. The government is, however, looking at something that might just become a trend: "Are balikbayans now returning to the motherland for good?"

The CFO is hosting the ongoing 3rd annual Global Summit of Filipinos in the Diaspora in Manila.

As of 2012, said the CFO, 10.5 million Filipinos reside overseas. Of that population, 47% are permanent migrants, 40% are temporary migrants, while 13% are "irregular" or undocumented migrants.

Permanent balikbayan

Jo Anne Coruña, 31, returned from the Untied States 7 years of study. She left her family in the Bay Area to return home and start a new family. Now she and her husband, Dr Chinkin Coruña, a top orthopedic surgeon, are enjoying the "simpler life" in Bacolod City.

The CFO said in a statement, "Whether it's for professional growth, familial ties, or personal relations, more and more Filipinos are now buying a one-way-ticket back to the Philippines. And we're not just talking about Manila."

The commission cited recent economic developments in the country to be behind this trend, and encouraged Filipinos overseas to go beyond sending money back home and instead consider returning to the Philippines for good.

"While we appreciate the remittances of our kababyans abroad, that contribute to the country's GDP growth while helping support their families, their will to share their talents and passions within the homeland is their greatest gift," Nicolas said.

The CFO said it has been actively encouraging Diaspora to Development (D2D) programs like Alay Dunong (sharing knowledge and skills) and Balik Turo (coming home to teach or mentor).

The CFO's 3rd global summit's theme this year is "Vision and Action for the Diaspora, 2015 and Beyond." The event's workshops will be held from February 25 to 27 at the Manila Hotel in Manila. –



Abad: Migration Should Be a Choice, Not a Necessity


Ryan Macasero

Overseas Filipinos have played an invaluable role in supporting the Philippine economy, but at a great cost to the unsung heroes, says Budget Secretary Florencio Abad

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MIGRATION MUST BE A CHOICE. Philippine Budget Secretary Florencio Abad addresses the 3rd annual Global Diaspora Summit 2015 on February 26, 2015. Photo by Troy Agcanas/Commission on Filipinos Overseas

MANILA, Philippines – The decision of Filipinos to migrate should be a choice and not a necessity, Budget Secretary Florencio Abad said at a summit on the welfare of migrant workers on Thursday, February 26.

Addressing the 3rd annual Global Diaspora Summit at the Manila Hotel, Abad said that the government is striving to attain that goal.

“We can introduce hope for our migrant workers. Our goal is to nurture the Philippines so that leaving would be a choice," Abad said at the event hosted by the Commission on Filipinos Overseas.

He cited the continuing increase in Filipino migrants, jumping to 10.5 million in the last several years.

Explaining the rising figures, Abad said, "It is a simplistic conclusion, but it rings true nonetheless, that more Filipinos have to uproot themselves from the Philippines and set-up shop elsewhere."

Abad said this speaks of the ability of government to provide for its citizens.

“Leaving the country for prospects abroad are driven by necessity….Poverty drove them abroad,” he said.

Abad cited the “invaluable role” of Filipino migrants to the Philippine economy based on government data that their remittances amounted to $26.9 billion in 2014 – or P1.2 trillion.

"By and large, the continuing improvement of the economy has ridden on the shoulders of Filipino migrant workers from every point of the world," Abad said.

Overseas Filipinos, he said, have "buffered us [the Philippines] from the shocks produced by a volatile international market."

But these economic gains have not come cheap, for the so-called "unsung heroes."
"Being separated by families is difficult enough, but they are also being exposed to risks in difficult environments," he said, referring to the thousands of OFWs who remain in countries struggling with civil unrest.

The budget secretary went on to discuss government efforts aligned with the government's goal to improve the quality of life of its citizens.

He noted P3 billion in spending for "capacity programs" for local government units, and P550 million for the Office of the Ombudsman.

As for the economy, Abad said the goal is to create an economic climate that is defined by "robust service" and is "production-driven."

“We are already seeing sure signs that things are improving,” he said.

Moody's credit rating upgrade and improvement on the global competitiveness attest to this, Abad noted. In 5 years, the Philippines has moved up 33 points to number 52 on the global competitiveness index. –



Ryan Macasero

Metropolis Professional Development in Ottawa, Canada on 22-26 June 2015_Deadline for Early Bird Registration is April 24!

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