Bicol Medical Center Launches the First Regional Cancer Center in the Region

Bicol Medical Center (BMC) finally inaugurates and open one of its major  Modernization Projects, the Regional Cancer Center --- the FIRST in the Bicol Region and South Luzon. The ribbon-cutting ceremony was graced by no less than the Department of Health Secretary Francisco T. Duque III. Together with the Secretary are Presidential Anti-Corruption Commission Chairman Dante Jimenez, AKO Bicol party list Representative Cong. Alfredo Garbin Jr., BMC OIC-Medical Center Chief Dr. Francisco Sales III, Camarines Sur 3rd District Representative Cong. Gabriel Bordado, Jr., and BMC Chief of Medical Professional Staff (CMPS) Dra. Mary Jane Uy.

BMC’s Guest of Honor and Keynote Speaker, DOH Secretary Francisco Duque III acknowledges the OIC-Medical Center Chief, Dr. Francisco Sales III for his tenacity in making sure that the reforms he had laid out bear fruits as seen during the opening of the RCC. He was all praise during the event and recognized BMC’s Cancer Center as one of the better, if not the best Cancer Centers he visited across the country. In his message, he mentioned that the establishment of the Cancer Center in the region is a good tactic to cover as many patients as possible and will break down geographical barrier which remains a perennial problem for patients living in the far outskirts of the nation just to seek medical treatments. The strategic location of the RCC, not to mention free access to medication will encourage indigent patients to avail of the said health facility.

Dra. Alma Bresnan, Chairperson of the Regional Cancer Center gave a comprehensive presentation and overview of the 4-Storey ambulatory cancer facility. She expressed her gratitude to DOH for the realization of BMC’s long-time dream and that access to quality healthcare should not depend on where the patient lives. She pointed that for the longest time, Bicolanos had to go to Metro Manila to seek treatments and consequently make patients incur great costs. It is BMC’s firm belief that the RCC will be committed to provide a solution to health gaps.

BMC’s Cancer Center is the only facility in the region with radiation treatment. It is equipped with high technology medical equipment that includes the two DOH-HFEP grant machines: the Linear Accelerator (LINAC) with CT Stimulator and the Brachytherapy. The LINAC machine is controlled by a radiation oncology team to generate External Beam Radiation Therapy (EBRT) that delivers tightly targeted radiation beams from outside of the body and which usually involves several treatments over few days to few weeks. Conversely, the Brachytherapy is a form of cancer treatment which is performed by insertion of a radioactive implant directly into the cancer tissue. The center will also house a Mammography System and Diagnostic Ultrasound machines. The RCC is envisioned to be the premier Cancer Center in the region at par with global standards.

The 4-storey Regional Cancer Center is a facility that offers state-of-the-art treatment and multi-disciplinary approach in management of patients with cancer from screening, diagnosis, treatment, management to intimate palliative care. Its services also include (1) surgical oncology concerned with the treatment and diagnosis of breast cancer, head and neck cancer, colorectal cancer, soft tissue sarcoma and bone cancer; (2) gynecologic oncology which includes cryotherapy, colposcopy, leep procedure and trophoblastic diseases;  (3) medical oncology, (4) adult and pediatric hematology oncology, and (5) radiation oncology.

Dr. Francisco Sales III, BMC OIC-Medical Center Chief II conveyed in his welcome address his heartfelt gratitude for the realization of the Regional Cancer Center which he described as a ‘dream come true’ seven years after it was first conceptualized. He expressed that BMC was appreciative of the fervent support of the notable people behind its many milestones. BMC remains faithful to its noble goal of serving the sick through provision of quality healthcare services and state-of-the-art facility for cancer patients.

Also present in this momentous event were CHD ROV Regional Director Dr. Ernie Vera, former OIC-MCC II who conceptualized the BMC Modernization Program, Dr. Efren Nerva, Office of the Presidential Assistant for Bicol affairs (OPABA) representative Atty. Vanessa Naval-Lee who attended on behalf of Usec. Marvel C. Clavecilla, and DOH Assistant Secretary Dr. Nestor Santiago Jr. (not in photo).