X is the symbol selected for the new advocacy campaign recently launched to increase awareness of a condition that claims the lives of many Filipinas. Cervical cancer is the second most common cancer among women in the country, with an estimated 4,800 mothers, daughters, wives, and girl friends diagnosed each year. Every day, there are 12 Filipino women who die from this disease. So cross out Cervical Cancer as a death threat for women by regular consultation, screening, and vaccination.
Cervical cancer is caused by the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV), commonly spread through sexual contact. It may lay undetected for as much as 10 years as HPV infection may show no signs and symptoms.At this very moment, an estimated 10,000 to 25,000 women are said to be undiagnosed cases. It is a virulent disease, where, for every four survivors of breast cancer, there are less than 3 women who survive cervical cancer. (http://www.cebudoctorsuniversity.edu/2013/colleges/medicine/hospital/cardio/chua26.html)
The good news is that cervical cancer can be prevented through regular MD consultation, screening and vaccination, which may reduce the risk by as much as 94%. Locally, the vaccines may be administered as early as the age of 9, which may keep Filipinas safe from being part of the alarming statistics that report 270,000 yearly deaths worldwide from this disease.
To raise awareness about the need for protection, pharmaceutical company GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) partnered with the ABS-CBN Foundation to encourage more Filipinas to arm themselves against cervical cancer. Their efforts were applauded, supported and joined by various medical and non – medical organizations – Bravehearts Coalition of the Philippines, Philippine Obstetrical and Gynecological Society of the Philippines (POGS), Society of Gynecologic Oncology of the Philippines (SGOP), Cervical Cancer Association of the Philippines (CECAP), Philippine SocietyAsia Oceana Research Institute for Gynecological Infection and Neoplasia (AOGIN), and Healthway Medical. The collaboration has resulted in a media campaign that seeks to spread the word about the disease and the powerful impact of prevention.
Lending a voice to this urgent call to action are popular female personalities who show their whole-hearted support for this campaign called X Means Love. The advocacy aims to reach out to Filipinas and their families, to encourage preventive measures against cervical cancer.
The symbolic X on their arms illustrates the need to cross out cervical cancer as a health threat, not only to themselves, but to their families, friends and loved ones too. The campaign seeks to show that, for more Filipinas, cervical cancer prevention means showing love for family, friends, and self so that they may live life to the fullest without having to worry about cervical cancer.