MANILA, Philippines — Now that the “Ber months” are here, it is that time of the year again to think about wish lists and presents.
But nothing beats the gift of good health and long life. The year might be ending, but it is never too late to achieve one’s #FitnessGoals with the help of the following health and wellness breakthroughs.
New hope for cancer patients
Dr. Hope Rugo
First, the good news. Thanks to advances in science, biosimilars — medical products that go through rigorous manufacturing and testing processes to show efficacy and safety just like the original medicine – is helping treat breast cancer patients.
The bad news: breast cancer remains the top killer among women in the Philippines because some surgeons fail to tell their patients about biosimilars. They think patients cannot afford it.
But if you ask representatives from Mylan, a pharmaceutical company, thisthinking is incorrect. Biosimilar treatment costs around P700,000 for 18 cycles of treatment, or almost one-year treatment. This is lower than the whopping P1.5M cancer patients and their families have to shell out if they want to beat the disease.
Dr. Hope Rugo, a medical oncologist and hematologist specializing in breast cancer research and treatment, is supporting biosimilars. Her passion for helping breast cancer patients goes back to the time her own mother died of the disease.
Rugo, who is director of Breast Oncology and Clinical Trials at the University of California, San Francisco and the Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center, said biosimilars offer cancer patients a better quality of life and improved disease control.
The cancer expert explained that biosimilars plays a critical role in supportive care, reducing the risk of low blood count with fever, mouth sores and life-threatening toxicities. She added that it helps patients whose cancer has spread to other organs of the body, or has metastasized.
She cited research which support her statements. Rugo adds that biosimilars lowers treatment cost. Patients can expect even decreased prices if the supply increases.
Dr. Jose S. Garcia Jr., president of the Philippine Society of Medical Oncology (PSMO),who also spoke at the press conference, endorses biosimilars as well. He revealed that biosimilars have passed safety and efficacy tests. Unsurprisingly, a lot of his patients are switching to this form of treatment.
After seeing so many women die of breast cancer complications, Garcia is happy to see that patients can now choose affordable treatment that’s just as effective as the original.
Garcia believes that biosimilars could help government make cancer treatment more accessible to patients, thanks to its effectiveness and greater affordability.
Speaking of government health care efforts, President Duterte has signed into law the National Integrated Cancer Control Act, authored by Quezon City Rep. Alfred Vargas and other legislators. Under the law, cancer patients now have a one-stop center to go to nationwide for their essential medicines, vaccines and other needs.
Duterte also approved the Universal Health Care law, which enrolls every Filipino in the government’s National Health Insurance Program.
Voice-enabled fitness tracker
Photo from Fitbit website
Sleep is critical to maintaining overall health and wellness, and when surveyed by Fitbit, nearly two-thirds (64 percent) of participants list sleep as a very important health and fitness priority, but one-third of American adults do not get enough sleep on a regular basis.
As such, the brand claimed to have pioneered wearable sleep tracking more than 10 years ago, making information previously only available from a medical professional widely accessible on the wrist.
Recently, the brand announced the launch of Versa 2, the next generation of its best-selling smartwatch, Versa. Versa 2 offers new features like a swimproof design, sleep features like Sleep Score and smart wake, and is packed with more advanced health, fitness and smart features to elevate every moment.
The watch enables users to receive a nightly score in the app for better insight into their sleep quality. The score is based on heart rate (sleeping and resting), restlessness, time awake and sleep stages.
Coming soon to all of the brand’s smartwatches, smart wake uses machine learning to wake you during an optimal time of your sleep cycle while in light or REM sleep, based on a pre-selected 30-minute interval, so you wake up feeling more refreshed.
Meanwhile, Sleep Mode enables the watch to simultaneously disable your screen display and silence notifications for a night free of disturbances. Sleep Mode can also be used anytime you do not want to be interrupted, like during a workout or in a meeting.
Apart from features for better sleep, the product also debuts an on-device microphone, which enables the brand’s first-ever Amazon Alexa smartwatch experience, along with a Spotify app that allows users to control their music and podcasts. Coupled with faster performance, thousands of apps and clock faces and a brighter, crisper display with an optional always-on mode, the watch now has over five days battery life at the same approachable price as Versa.
“We believe that health belongs to everyone and that people should not be priced out of having access to devices and features that can help them improve their health. That’s why we’ve designed Versa 2 to be a premium, full-featured and easy-to-use smartwatch at an accessible price point,” said James Park, the brand’s co-founder and Chief Executive Officer.
“Building on the success of our original best-selling Versa smartwatch, we believe the added value and innovation in Versa 2 with new features like Alexa, a Spotify app and advanced in-app and on-device sleep features, will bring more users into the smartwatch category, allowing them to unlock the benefits of better health.”
Early Christmas treats for UNICEF kids
The program could benefit over 800,000 children by taking them a step closer to their dreams.
It’s the latest development that has taken the online world by storm. Overnight, your favorite brands’ logos and names were replaced with hand-drawn art and children’s names. From Closeup to Chloe, Dove to Dianne and Axe to Axel, the country’s most loved brands just had a complete make-over online for a good cause.
With over 2.8 million Filipino children currently out-of-school translating to over 2.8 million dreams on hold, Unilever Philippines and Lazada have come together to support UNICEF and the Department of Education by creating Shop2Give Year 2, “Add Dreams to Cart.” This collaborative effort aims to elevate the online shopping experience by giving shoppers the chance to help send out-of-school children in the Philippines back to school.
Last August 20, as customers shopped for their favorite Unilever products on Lazada, proceeds from the sale will be donated to UNICEF. For 24 whole hours, Unilever also gave Lazada a fun and adorable makeover, transforming the interface of this online shopping giant into what looks like a kids’ art gallery.
Through shoppers’ help and generosity, the program could benefit over 800,000 children by taking them a step closer to their dreams.
How to care for baby skin
Pediatric dermatologist Dr. Wilsie Salas-Walinsundin revealed that a baby’s skin is immature so it’s better to treat it with utmost care.
In an interview with Philstar.com, Dr. Wilsie said although the infant’s skin capacity to produce its own moisture, it has relative inability to keep that moisture in the skin and loses it to the atmosphere.
“Clinical studies indicate that a regimen of bathing with mild baby cleanser followed by moisturizer developed for baby’s skin in beneficial in protecting and maintaining a healthy skin barrier because dry skin can lead to macro and micro fissure formation which allows easier penetration of bacteria and allergens,” she said.
“Regular use of moisturize among newborns was shown to also reduce incidence of atopic dermatitis by 30 percent. It is very important also to note that it’s best to invest on products which are clinically proven not to disrupt the skin’s barrier function and microbial balance,” she added.
Dr. Wilsie said the baby’s skin is sensitive because it’s still developing. Being the first line of defense for the body and has yet to attain its full potential, baby’s skin is less thick compared to adults.
“The skin is less thick and has less moisture-trapping capacity, susceptible to more epidermal water loss and has underdeveloped skin microbiome in the first few weeks to months of a term infant’s life. The skin microbiome is very important in establishing a healthy skin and helps protect infants from harmful and infectious microbes, having that sensitive skin,” Wilsie said.
To properly take care of baby’s skin, Wilsie suggested to use a gentle baby-specific cleanser to help cleanse effectively, while still protecting and maintaining the natural moisture of baby’s skin.
“Normally, we cleanse a baby using water and mild cleanser. We are always reminded that water albeit, helpful in cleaning cannot in itself remove fat-soluble impurities left behind by normal skin shedding, waste products of urination or defecation and or diaper or clothing residues,” she said.
“If these impurities remain on the skin it causes potential irritation to a baby’s immature and sensitive skin. Furthermore, frequent washing with water alone (hard water, chlorinated or deep well water) can dry really the immature baby’s skin makes it more susceptible to breakdown,” she added.
Johnson’s recently re-sets baby care standards again with its revamped range now having 50 percent lesser ingredients, with no parabens, phthalates, dyes, sulfates, petroleum ingredients and fragrance allergens. The new products now have 90 percent naturally-derived ingredients that have all been purposefully chosen and have undergone a rigorous 5-step safety-assurance process, promising parents greater peace of mind.
Common problems moms encounter during pregnancy
Birthing Beginnings founder and birth coach Thammie Sy with celebrity mom, blogger and host Say Alonzo. Photo release
Congratulations! You’re having a baby. It’s time to break out the diapers, the pacifiers, and lullabies. As most moms have warned, life won’t just be about those cute baby things. There’s morning sickness, nausea, and possibly some urinary or vaginal issues.
Don’t worry—these are all very normal in pregnancy. Your body is changing and working overtime every second to form that little bundle of joy, so you may want to take it easy on yourself as to why you may be experiencing quite a couple of not-so-pretty conditions and problems.
Pregnancy has its ups and downs, but thankfully, these are all temporary and always worth it once you see your little one for the very first time. Here are some of the very common vaginal problems moms-to-be encounters during pregnancy:
1. Candidiasis or yeast infection. This is caused by the hormone changes in your body that disrupt the pH balance of your vagina. Its symptoms are vaginal itching and a white, thick discharge that resembles cottage cheese. Candidiasis can be easily treated by over the counter medications but you must seek your doctor’s advise if you suspect to have this problem.
2. Stress incontinence
3. Urinary Tract Infection (UTI)
One to three percent of women encounter a urinary tract infection during their pregnancy. This is again caused by your expanding uterus which crowds your bladder. It prevents you from emptying your bladder completely, thereby exposing it to bacteria for longer periods of time. Making sure you are faithful in going to all your OB visits for your prenatal checkups can help you avoid and prevent developing UTI. As your pregnancy progresses, your doctor will most likely request for you to take a few exams to ensure you do not have any infection that might affect you or your baby.
These common urinary and vaginal problems in pregnancy may be troublesome and even embarrassing at some point, but you do not have to add this to your list of worries any longer. So Sure Bladder Leakage Pad is an incontinence pad that is essential from pregnancy to childbirth. It has antibacterial, antifungal, and has odor control features that are also safe for pregnant women to use. Mothers-to-be can have one less thing to think about with So Sure Bladder Leakage Pad.
Don’t lose hope with acne
The campaign follows four women from different walks of life in a 60-day journey with anti-acne solutions. Photo release
Have you ever been judged because of your looks? Or rejected because your skin wasn’t perfect? Acne: we see it every day. A lot of us have had acne at some point in our lives, but for these women, it’s the source of an undying insecurity, causing them pain that goes beyond skin deep, scarring not only their faces, but also their self-esteem.
And in a society where looks and aesthetic is very influential, the fight for respect and equality is a lifelong struggle for people with pimples. But that fight is a fight that Maxi-Peel is unwilling to give up. The brand’s mission is to amplify the voices of those who have been misjudged, ridiculed, and discriminated because of their acne through their newest campaign, “Wag Mong Isuko ang Laban.” (Don’t Give Up the Fight).
The campaign follows four women from different walks of life in a 60-day journey with Maxi-Peel Exfoliant Solutions, capturing real progress, with real results in real time. The campaign begins with a heart-wrenching 60-second testimonial video of these women telling everyone what society tells them every day.
Coffee, choco mixes for lactating moms
“Mompreneur” and breastfeeding advocate Lan Perez
Coffee is life. It’s a statement that all pregnant women and moms–especially first-timers—will agree with, given that these women are most likely sleep-deprived because of hormones and childcare duties.
Unfortunately, medical science has also established limited caffeine intake is best for both expecting and nursing mothers—something which did not sit well with mompreneur Lan Perez, founder of the country’s first brand of lactation coffee and choco drink mixes, Mother Nurture.
Perez’s breastfeeding journey is actually a story of relactation. Six years ago, the mother of two decided to relactate in order to nurse her then three-month-old son Jaden. She had missed the chance to breastfeed her eldest, Andre, and she didn’t want the opportunity to do so with her second child.
The whole relactation process turned Perez into a breastfeeding advocate, thanks also to the Facebook group, Breastfeeding Pinays, which provided her the support she needed. Perez was happy that she was finally nursing her son—but it also called for a big sacrifice, as her baby was sensitive to any caffeine in her system.
“After 14 months of no coffee, I needed my sanity back,” Perez said.
She tried looking for “friendly” alternatives, but saw that even the coffee with malunggay options were labeled “not suited for breastfeeding mothers.”
That was Perez’s “aha” moment—finding no solution to her problem, she decided to resolve it herself. It took three months of consultations with lactaction experts, plus experimentation with the help of chemists, to come up with the products she and fellow nursing moms needed: Mother Nurture 7-in-1 Coffeemix and Chocomix.
Perez’s products helped her not just with her breastfeeding journey, but with her financial freedom as well, as running Mother Nurture allowed her to leave her former job as a merchandising specialist and go into business full time.
And five years since she first started her brand, Perez continues to share her good fortune with other women by opening her products for reselling. Most of her associates are nursing moms themselves, who get to enjoy the benefits of Mother Nurture’s mixes, too.
“I want to give them the opportunity to earn while taking care of their families,” said Perez.
How to have hotel-like sleep
Avoid direct bright light exposure before bedtime.
Checking into a five-star hotel means having a restful night’s sleep in a comfortable and cozy environment. Every detail has been prepared to give guests undisturbed rest – from the lighting and the room temperature, down to the bed linens and, of course, a comfortable mattress that gives the right amount of support for the body.
This type of slumber is also possible at home, with the necessary elements that will help you achieve the ambience of a world-class quality of sleep. Here are some tips from Sealy Posturepedic Mattress to transform your room into a haven for resting after a long day of work or play.
1. Keep the lights low. Avoid direct bright light exposure before bedtime by installing a dimmer switch to cue the body to start preparing itself for sleep.
2. Keep it cool. A cooler, consistent temperature prevents night sweats and also insomnia. At the same time, if it’s too cold, the body has to expend more energy to warm up, making it harder to fall asleep.
3. Cozy up. Soft, smooth sheets from breathable natural materials will induce a comfortable snooze, when paired with the right room temperature.
4. Find the right mattress. Generally speaking, a mattress that is too firm will cause discomfort as there will be pressure acting upon the parts of the body that press against the mattress. This results in tossing and turning and a tired and restless body the next morning. On the other hand, when a mattress is too soft, it will cause the body to “sag” as the heavier parts sink in.
The best mattress to provide this needed support should have a combination of comfort and conformability. Sealy Posturepedic mattresses offer these features, having spent millions on research and working closely with orthopedic surgeons to develop the revolutionary PostureTech Titanium coil made with Titanium Alloy.
Andi Manzano Reyes and baby – Instagram/Andi Manzano, screenshot
More than just tickles and giggles, play time with babies is crucial in unlocking the endless possibilities of their mental and social development. Play is how children learn about themselves, others and the world around them, and is equally critical in building a child’s confidence and all the fundamental skills they’ll need to grow up happy and healthy.
As such, diaper brand Pampers recently teamed up with online store Lazada for a “grand play day” together with celebrity parents Andi Manzano and Troy Montero.
“Lazada is the one reliable platform through which Pampers can connect with or customers to create limitless opportunities for babies to enjoy the wonderful world of play,” said Akhil Meshram, Pampers Philippines Brand Manager.
“Digitally-savvy parents of babies and young children are increasingly researching and seeking out baby-related product purchases online… LazMall will continue to provide the highest quality online shopping experience with international mother and baby brands like Pampers,” said Lazada Philipines Chief Business Officer Emma Chavarot.
Snacks delivery for kids
The brand recently launched its Ready-To-Drink (RTD) Baon Subscription – Photo release
Parents can now take their families on the path towards sustainability. To help Filipino families directly take part in efforts to achieve a more nutritious and more sustainable future, Nestlé recently launched its Ready-To-Drink (RTD) Baon Subscription on goodfood.ph, a delivery service of the company’s brands, including Chuckie, Milo, Bear Brand Yogu and fresh milk range.
Taking cotton to next level
The lint-free rounds are said to be multipurpose with a bigger surface to wipe wider areas.
For over 30 years, Cleene has been known for its cotton. Recently, the brand introduces its “next level” via the new cotton rounds, made of 100 percent pure cotton imported from the Netherlands.
The lint-free rounds are said to be multipurpose with a bigger surface to wipe wider areas, ideal for cosmetics, cleaning babies and medical applications. The 80s-per-pack cotton rounds come in resealable plastic for hygiene. — Reports from Jan Milo Severo
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