AstraZeneca, through its AZ Cares Program, is working hard to give lung cancer patients the support they need throughout the treatment process. This includes the understanding of their disease, access to diagnostic testing centers, going through genetic mutation testing, funding for actual treatment, and the proper administration of injectable medicine.
To support late-stage cancer patients to combat the disease, AstraZeneca Philippines cooperate with several partners to launch the AZ Cares Program. This Patient Support Program gives end-to-end healthcare management support for both lung and breast cancer patients. Over 3,600 breast and lung cancer patients have been helped by AZ Cares since’s the program’s launch in 2016.
Lung cancer accounts for over 15,000 deaths per year and is the leading cause of cancer-related deaths in the Philippines. 72 percent of cases diagnosed with lung cancer are already in their late stages.
“Lung cancer accounts for 12.2% of all newly diagnosed cancer cases in the Philippines. Unfortunately, most are diagnosed at the later stages, and this results to a higher mortality rate,” Dr. Herdee Luna of the Philippine Society of Medical Oncology said.
Lung cancer still has limited awareness. Access to comprehensive treatment is a crucial challenge as well. Late-stage cancer patients, more often than not, often face challenges in sustaining treatment. The majority of the expenses come out of the patient and his or her families’ pockets.
Hospitalization and medication are not the only variables in the overall cost of cancer treatment. The majority of cancer care expense goes to miscellaneous expenses – like transportation fares, hospital food, and wages for caregivers.
“Late-stage cancer patients are living longer with newer medicines improving their survival. We should start looking at cancer just like chronic diseases, such as diabetes and hypertension. More than our pity, these cancer patients need support to fight for survivorship. Many patients support programs are now available to help them with their cancer treatment,” Dr. Luna stated.
With additional reports from: Philippine Star, Daily Tribune
Photo Sources: tribune.net.ph, snappedandscribbled.com, astrazeneca.com