UP webinar to focus on oral cancer treatment in the time of COVID-19

| Posted by UP Media and Public Relations Office

UP webinar to focus on oral cancer treatment in the time of COVID-19


Oral cancer is the 8th leading type of cancer in the Philippines. According to World Health Organization (WHO) data published in 2018, oral cancer deaths make up 0.51% of the total deaths in the country.

Lip cancer, a specific type of oral cancer, develops from abnormal cells that grow out of control and form lesions or tumors on the lips, creating thin, flat cells that line the lips, mouth, tongue, cheeks, sinuses, throat, hard and soft palates. Lip cancer is notorious as a rapidly growing type of tumor of the head and neck, if it is not diagnosed and treated early.

Certain lifestyle choices can increase the risk of developing lip cancer, including tobacco use, heavy alcohol intake, and excessive sun exposure. Treatment includes performing a biopsy and imaging tests, followed by surgery, chemotherapy or radiotherapy. To begin with, these options are already difficult and often inaccessible for poor patients, but the COVID-19 pandemic has made receiving oral cancer treatment even more challenging.

The 35th installment of the University of the Philippines’ (UP) webinar series “STOP COVID DEATHS: VIRTUAL GRAND ROUNDS”, which will be held on Friday, December 18 at 12:00 noon, will focus on the case of a “Farmer with Rapidly Growing Lip Tumor”. Farmers are at high risk of developing oral cancer due to constant exposure to the sun for prolonged periods of time. In this case, an 81-year old female farmer from Mindanao noticed a patchy discoloration on her face that quickly progressed into a tumor around her lips. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, she was unable to consult a doctor. The tumor has rapidly worsened, and she is finally seen to by a physician in the Doctors to the Barrios program.

Dr. Mike Gianan, a Doctor to the Barrio working in Zamboanga Del Norte, will explain the details of the case, while Dr. Christine Joy Arquiza, Clinical Associate Professor at the Department of Otorhinolaryngology of the UP Philippine General Hospital (PGH) will be the discussant. Dr. Nodel Nodora, Technical Officer of the WHO-Western Pacific Region Office will be the reactor. Opening remarks will be delivered by Dr. Anthony Cordero, Director of the UP Manila Community Health Development Program, while UP Manila Chancellor Dr. Carmencita Padilla will give the closing remarks.

The “STOP COVID DEATHS: VIRTUAL GRAND ROUNDS” webinar series is organized by UP in partnership with the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth) and the UP Manila NIH National Telehealth Center, in cooperation with the UP College of Medicine and the UP-PGH.


Register now: bit.ly/StopCOVIDDeathsWebinar35