Cancer is the third leading cause of morbidity and mortality in the Philippines. Leading cancer sites/types are lung, breast, cervix, liver, colon and rectum, prostate, stomach, oral cavity, ovary and leukemia. There is at present a low cancer prevention consciousness and most cancer patients seek consultation only at advanced stages. Cancer survival rates are relatively low. The Institute of Human Genetics along with physicians and scientists from the Philippine General Hospital, Jose R. Reyes Medical Center, Lung Center of the Philippines, Ospital ng Maynila, Medical Center Manila, East Avenue Medical Center and Corazon Locsin Montelibano Memorial Medical Regional Hospital conducted a molecular epidemiology study to determine the association of specific genetic polymorphisms with risks of cancer to the lung, breast, colon and rectum and oral cavity. This is important in identifying Filipinos who may be at increased risk of developing cancer. Screening for genetic polymorphisms found to increase cancer risk allows health care providers to develop interventions for their patients and can lead to a decrease in cancer mortality and morbidity.
The study was funded by the Department of Science and Technology, Philippine Council for Health Research and Development and the UP College of Medicine Research Implementation and Dissemination Office.