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Feb 11 19, 12:34 pm

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Filipina in Dubai wins battle against cancer

by | Feature

Feb. 11, 19 | 12:34 pm

In September 2017, Cancer Coalition of the Philippines (CCP) reported that seven adults die every hour while eight children die of cancer daily in the Philippines.

If those numbers already sound alarming, among overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) in UAE, as many as 1,000 are being diagnosed with varying stages and types of cancer, Dr. Balaji Balasubramanian, consultant surgical oncologist at NMC Hospital in Abu Dhabi, previously told The Filipino Times.

The high number gives weight to the widely accepted notion among experts that working away from home and loved ones – with the emotional and psychological stress it entails – plays a role in acquiring the dreaded disease, but an overseas Filipino worker in Dubai proved that there is still hope even if one gets diagnosed with cancer.

Jennifer Villanueva, a 33-year-old auditor working for a private company in Dubai, said that she has been living a healthy and active life prior to getting diagnosed with the disease. That is why getting afflicted with cancer was something she did not expect would happen to her.

In a feature on Dubai Post in 2018, Villanueva said that her battle with cancer started when she found a small lump in her neck back in December 2017. When she had it checked, she was told that she has malignant papillary thyroid carcinoma.

“I was really shocked when I found out. When I discovered the tumors, I saw a doctor, and he told me that I’m diagnosed with thyroid cancer,” Dubai Post quoted Villanueva as saying.

Her family was the first thing that came into her mind, thinking that she is in a race against time to save her life.

“Will I die? What will happen to my kids and husband after I’m gone?” she asked.

However, the doctors assured her that the type of cancer that she has is 99% curable. She said that she had surgery a few months after her diagnosis and found strength to recover from her family’s support.

After her surgery, Villanueva is now cancer-free and has been living a healthy life once again.

She said that getting diagnosed with cancer is somehow a blessing in disguise since it helped her become stronger and made her appreciate her life and the people around her more.

“Cancer is not death, it’s not like that. Cancer is a part of life that will make you stronger and give meaning to everything that you do,” she said.

Avoiding cancer? Get more sun. UAE has lots of it

Ironic as it may sound, your preference to stay out of the sun may actually be doing you more harm than good – increased risk of cancer, also known as the Big C, for one.

Women who lack vitamin D may be at greater risk for the most aggressive breast cancer and expect a poorer prognosis, according to a study from the University of Rochester Medical Center, one of the first to examine vitamin D and breast cancer progression.

Researchers found that cancers known to be more aggressive, such as triple-negative tumors, correlated with low vitamin D levels. Triple-negative cancers are often associated with younger women and minority women, said an article about the study as published by Cancer Treatment Centers of America on its webpage.

Another study, presented at the American Society for Radiation Oncology (ASTRO), showed that more than three-fourths of people with a variety of cancers have low levels of vitamin D, and the lowest levels are associated with more advanced cancers.

Vitamin D is found in fatty fish, milk, and fortified cereals. It is also obtained by exposure to sunlight.

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THE FILIPINO TIMES is the biggest and most trusted Filipino newspaper in the UAE.

It has a print run of 60,000 copies and 250,000 readership per week; bolstered by 1 million visitors to its website every month. It also has an e-newsletter sent to its 250,000 subscribers every day.

The Filipino Times is FREE and has the widest targeted circulation across the 7 emirates of the UAE.

With more than 2,500 strategic distribution spots, TFT is available where the Filipinos are - at Smart Bus Shelters, Metro Stations, restaurants, supermarkets, schools, airport lounges, Emirates and Etihad Philippine-bound flights, churches, Filipino community events and many more.

THE FILIPINO TIMES. We are where the Filipinos are.

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