Cancer care center opens in General Santos City

Mayor Lorelie Pacquiao and General Santos Doctors Hospital (GSDH) President and Medical Director Daniel Yap, along with other city government and hospital staff, led the recent launch of the Cancer Care Center inside GSDH. Pacquiao said the center will put patients' minds at ease, knowing they have a sure place for quality healthcare and support. (Photo courtesy of the city government of General Santos)

General Santos City took a significant step forward in cancer care with the opening of a bigger and more comprehensive General Santos Doctors Hospital (GSDH) Cancer Center.

The expansion positions GSDH as the eighth hospital in Mindanao to offer radiation therapy, a crucial service for cancer treatment.

The ceremony on April 21, held at the GSDH Cancer Center Building and GSDH Medical Suites Multi-Purpose Hall, showcased the strong partnership between the local government unit (LGU) of General Santos and GSDH.

The opening of the Cancer Care Center brought together government officials, healthcare professionals, and community members to rally their support for GSDH's healthcare initiative. The launch served as a milestone achievement for GSDH, as they assured the city government of their sustained commitment to providing advanced cancer care in the city and the Soccsksargen area. (Photo courtesy of the city government of General Santos)

A commitment to quality healthcare for all 

Mayor Lorelie G. Pacquiao, GSDH President and Medical Director Daniel G. Yap, and one of the city’s top oncologists, Enrico Tango, led the launch.

Pacquiao commended GSDH’s dedication to improving healthcare in the city by emphasizing the importance of accessible, affordable, and high-quality healthcare and highlighting the Cancer Center as a key partner in achieving the LGU’s vision.

Sa pamamagitan ng cancer center masisiguro natin na mayroon silang maaasahan na tahanan na magbibigay sa kanila ng dekalidad na serbisyo at pag-aaruga,” she said.

(Through this center, we can assure that patients have a home for quality care and support.)

Kaya nga nagsisikap ang LGU at ang health department ng ating siyudad sa pagpapalaganap ng impormasyon at kaalaman tungkol sa cancer at pagsulong sa malusog na pamumuhay,” added Pacquiao.

(That’s why the local government unit, through its city health office, is striving hard to spread information and knowledge about cancer and to promote a healthy lifestyle.)

A united front for quality healthcare

The ceremony drew government officials, healthcare professionals, and community members together in their support for GSDH and the shared goal of improving healthcare.

Yap highlighted the center’s impact, emphasizing that “with cancer posing a significant challenge to the Philippine healthcare system, this center will be instrumental in providing patients with access to the latest advancements in diagnosis and treatment.”

The inauguration, according to Yap, marked a turning point for GSDH as they ramped up their commitment to providing advanced cancer care options throughout the Soccsksargen area.

“With its burgeoning population of 4.9 million and the increasing demand for radiation therapy in cancer treatment, we are proud to finally offer equitable access to both external [LINAC] and internal [brachytherapy] radiation beam services, a distinction that sets us apart in our region,” he said.

The Cancer Care Center's advanced technology fights cancer with minimal impact on healthy tissues. Dr. Daniel Yap, GSDH president and medical director, said the new modality expands their scope of care and opens the door for better outcomes for cancer patients. (Photo courtesy of the city government of General Santos)

Advanced technology for cancer treatment

The new center boasts cutting-edge technology for combating cancer with minimal impact on healthy tissues.

Yap said that, in addition to their existing array of cancer treatment modalities, including surgery, chemotherapy, immunotherapy, and radioactive iodine, “the new modality not only broadens [their] scope of care but opens the door for better outcomes, quality of life, and most of all, hope for [their] cancer patients.”

GSDH’s new cancer center is a testament to their commitment, offering comprehensive care with “world-class machines” and a team of “competent, well-trained professionals.”

“Our center is a source of pride not only for our hospital but for our entire city,” said Yap.

According to Tango, the Elekta Synergy Linear Accelerator, or LINAC, available in the center utilizes high-energy radiation to precisely target cancer cells, minimizing damage to surrounding areas. This customizable technology allows doctors to tailor treatment plans for each patient’s specific needs.

For certain cancers, Tango added, the center also provides brachytherapy, an innovative approach that delivers radiation directly to the tumor using radioactive materials placed inside the body.

This targeted method minimizes harm to surrounding organs while offering a quicker and potentially more effective treatment compared to traditional methods.

With the cutting-edge equipment and highly skilled medical doctors and personnel of GSDH, Mayor Lorelie Pacquiao assured her commitment to raising awareness about cancer prevention, promoting healthy living, and providing the best possible care for her constituents with cancer in General Santos City. She also vowed to expand networks to strengthen public healthcare facilities in the city. (Photo courtesy of the city government of General Santos)

A commitment to care

Echoing Yap’s sentiment, Pacquiao emphasized the crucial role the center will play in supporting patients and their families.

Hindi kasi biro ang pinagdadaanan ng mga may cancer, lalo na ang pamilya ng isang pasyenteng may cancer. Dahil sila rin ay dumadanas ng paghihirap,” she acknowledged.

(The experience of those with cancer is not a joke, especially for the families of cancer patients, because they too undergo suffering.)

Her administration, Pacquiao added, remains committed to raising awareness about cancer prevention, promoting healthy living, and providing the best possible care within General Santos City and even outside the city.

Furthermore, she pledged continued efforts to strengthen public healthcare facilities, acknowledging their vital role in serving the community.

Kaya nagsisikap ako ngayon na mabigyan ng pondo ang ating pampublikong hospital para sa operasyon, serbisyo at pasilidad nito para sa mga kababayan nating hirap din sa buhay,” Pacquiao assured her constituents.

(We are continuously working to secure funding for our public hospital to ensure they can provide the necessary services, facilities, and operations to serve our residents, particularly those facing financial difficulties.)

Pacquiao expressed the hope that as the center opens its doors, it will ignite a brighter future for those battling cancer, reaffirming General Santos City’s pledge to progress and service to its people. (HJPF – PIA SarGen)

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