Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Jeepney Press January-February 2010 PAGE 20

By: Dr. Miriam Sun Arenas


Yes, there is life after cancer, even after being diagnosed of cancer stage four! For such a long time now, cancer has been the most dreaded disease because it is tantamount to a death sentence, a nightmare on Elm Street, being HIV positive, or just a never-ending maze without exits.

Indeed, to find a cure for cancer is the key to a better life for cancer patients. Imagine their agony of having to wear a wig or a hat because of hair loss due to chemotherapy. Not to mention the painful injections that are part of their daily routine.

Statistics show that 104 people die of cancer each day, that means about four persons die every hour! But this will be no more, since there is now a cure for cancer! That may be hard to believe, but yes, you heard that right! Now, a decline in cancer deaths, is that we will be looking forward to, in the years to come.

The cure? Cryosurgery. Simply put, it is surgery using freezing or extremely cold temperature. It entails having small cryoprobes inserted into the tumor and around it through small punctures on the skin, thru the guidance of CT scan. The probes create extreme cold temperatures, below freezing point, in order to kill the tumor. This method is faster, more effective and less painful as compared to the conventional surgery where the body is cut open to remove the tumor or the whole organ involved.

Cryosurgery, an advanced technology in the field of cancer treatment is introduced in Guanzhou, China specifically at Fuda Cancer Hospital.

Besides cryosurgery, other forms of treatment available in Fuda hospital are:
a) Immunotherapy, wherein an injection is given to the patient in order to help his body regain its strength by boosting the immune system
b) Brachytherapy, a form of radiation treatment that uses "seeds" filled with iodine that are placed very close to the tumor in order to kill it.

These treatment methods are actually developed in Western countries and most doctors in Fuda hospital have been trained in U.S. or European schools. Hence, Fuda hospital is considered an "alternative hospital" if the current hospitals do not offer these latest treatments. Usually, treatment takes a month and costs on the average P1M depending on the extent and severity of the cancer. Take note that only cancer involving solid tumors are covered by these treatment methods. Hence, cancer of the blood which is leukemia is not included under this category.

Indeed, this breakthrough in cancer therapy thru cryosurgery and other
modalities being specialized by doctors in Fuda Cancer Hospital in
Guanzhou, China offers HOPE for the previously hopeless cancer-stricken patients.

by: Joseph S. de Leon

Working in Japan, A Mission

Japan is one of the countries that all foreigners wanted to visit as a tourist or even live here for good. There are many reasons why we come to Japan. Some people want to enjoy the rich culture, delicious food, exciting four seasons, hospitable Japanese and other surprising things that this country has to offer. There are people who come here for greener pasture and engage themselves as one of the manpower that Japan needs to help build its economy. Some engage in a blue-collar and others in a white collar jobs. Although Japan has better job opportunities to offer than in our country, one of the challenges that we have to face among others, is the language barrier. Foreigners who are new in Japan will sometimes find themselves speechless if they don’t speak Japanese. We can just count using our fingers the number of our Japanese friends who can communicate with us in English.

This is where the job of Assistant Language Teachers (ALTs) or English Teachers in Japan come in. Japan is now giving great emphasis on the study of English as early as elementary level. Many foreigners from native English-speaking countries and from countries with English as their official language to include the Philippines are now employed as ALTs in Public Schools. I am one of those Filipinos doing our mission here to educate the Japanese children to learn the international language of industry. Teaching English in Japan is a challenging yet a very rewarding job. It’s now my 5th year as an ALT of Ichikai Town, Tochigi Prefecture. I have spent five years teaching with the Japanese English teachers and teaching the children themselves and experience tells me that Japanese are eager to learn English. Japanese teachers are also doing their best to learn the language and be able to communicate in English and prepare the children to be globally competitive as they work hand in hand with their ALTs. Since 2005, Ichikai Town teachers have been very cooperative in this mission to mold the minds of Japanese children in terms of English communication.

This academic year, with the able leadership of our new ALT coordinator at Ichikai Elementary School, series of English activities to further enhance the ability of the Japanese teachers in English Team Teaching (both Homeroom Teacher and ALT) were planned. For year 2009, I did three (3) demonstration team teaching classes with Ichikai Elementary School’s Japanese teachers. I was given the opportunity to share our skills in English teaching along with several Japanese English teachers in various grade levels. The best part of it was these series of demonstration activities were observed by most English teachers in various grade levels in our city. I felt very happy to know that our demonstration received high remarks from evaluators especially from the representatives of the Board of Education.
Last month, I had a demonstration activity which focused on Christmas. The lesson was focused on Christmas items and gift -giving using English as the medium.

This coming January 20, 2010, another demonstration of English team-teaching is scheduled with Grade 1 Homeroom teacher and the students themselves. It’s very evident that Japan Education gives emphasis on the English ability of the Japanese students and I am proud to say that me and other ALTs are part of this mission.

One of the reasons why I didn’t change town where to teach English and prefer to remain in my present town since September 2005 is because of the teachers’ cooperation and effort to have a better English team-teaching class. The Board of Education of Ichikai Town, teachers of Akabane Elementary School; Ichikai Elementary School; Kokai Minami Elementary School and Kokai Chuo Elementary School, PTA , children and the community are the reasons why I want to continue my mission as an English Teacher in this area of Japan.

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