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Cervical Cancer: The Second Most Prevalent Cancer Striking Filipino Women

Cervical cancer, the growth of abnormal cells in the lining of the cervix, is the second most common cancer affecting Filipino women. Alarmingly, reports indicate that 12 Filipinas die daily due to it1.

Like most cancers, cervical cancer has no symptoms in its initial stages. However, as the condition progresses, the woman may experience symptoms, such as vaginal bleeding and pelvic pain2. Without treatment, cancer can quickly spread to other parts of the body, ultimately taking a toll on many aspects of women’s health and finances. 


Understanding the Causes and Risk Factors of Cervical Cancer2

Most cases of cervical cancer are caused by HPV infection. In many women, this virus poses no risk and goes away on its own. However, in some cases, it can trigger cell changes that eventually lead to cervical cancer.

Besides HPV infection, the following factors also increase the risk of having cervical cancer:

  • Cigarette smoking
  • Early sexual activity
  • Increased number of sexual partners
  • Other sexually transmitted infection
  • Exposure to  medicines that prevent miscarriage 

The Staggering Reports on Cervical Cancer in the Philippines

Did you know that up to 93% of cervical cancers are preventable? This is through HPV vaccination3. However, reports say only 1% of Filipino women get cervical and breast cancer screening. This is one of the lowest screening rates of breast and cervical cancer in the world4

Yearly, more than 7,800 Filipinas are diagnosed with cervical cancer – with over 4,000 dying from it5. The overall 5-year survival rate for cervical cancer in the Philippines is 44%. The low-survival rate has been linked to late-stage diagnosis, coupled with challenges, such as unavailability, inaccessibility, or unaffordability of treatment2.

The High Cost of Cervical Cancer Treatment

Being diagnosed with any type of cancer often brings about heightened stress, anxiety, and a range of complex emotions to the patient and their family. It opens a load of concerns – from the toll on the patient’s physical health, type of treatment, and how one’s quality of life will be affected during treatment.

In addition to all these concerns, many Filipinas are also worried about the cost of treatment, which can range anywhere from Php100,000 to more than Php1,000,000. Chemotherapy, a common treatment for cervical cancer, is priced at Php20,000 per session at minimum. Apart from this, the patient may also expect to spend money on hospital confinement, maintenance meds, and hiring a caregiver. Resigning from work – should it be necessary – also poses financial burdens.

These mounting costs may force families to take drastic actions, such as emptying their bank accounts and selling properties, both of which have negative implications of their own. 

Let HealthFlex Protect You and Your Family

Safeguard your health and finances with Manulife HealthFlex a comprehensive health insurance that can protect you and your family from the substantial costs associated with many critical illnesses, including cervical cancer.

With HealthFlex, you can get protection for every step of your way -- from early stage diagnosis, hospitalization, and up to your recovery. For only PHP 77 pesos per day⁶, you can get protection from cervical cancer and coverage for more than 100 critical illnesses until age 100. This plan also waives your premiums should you be diagnosed with any of the covered illnesses, offering you financial relief during challenging times. It also provides annual dividends, giving you the option to withdraw funds at your convenience or let them accumulate for added financial security until maturity.  

If you’re worried about cervical cancer, or other common critical illnesses such as heart attack and stroke, it’s best to invest in a comprehensive health insurance plan that matches your needs and health priorities.

To know more, get in touch with us today!


  1. 12 Filipino women die daily from cervical cancer: DOH, Accessed January 25, 2024
  2. Cervical Cancer: Symptoms and Causes, Accessed January 25, 2024
  3. Cervical Cancer is Preventable,,that%20cause%20most%20cervical%20cancers. Accessed January 25, 2024
  4. Philippines: Human Papillomavirus and Related Cancers, Fact Sheet 2023, Accessed January 25, 2024
  5. Only 1% of PH women screened for breast, cervical cancer, Accessed January 25, 2024
  6. P77 per day is for a female age 30 with HealthFlex 3CI+ pay to 60

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