Chicago doctors return home after setting up cancer screening program in Philippines

Local doctors are back home in Chicago from a trip to the Philippines, helping pave the way forward for better healthcare there.

The Northwestern Medicine doctors set up a cervical cancer screening program in the rural town of Salcedo. The teams performed more than 40 surgeries and saw more than 200 patients.

Their primary goal was to create the program to screen for the cancer and vaccination against HPV.

"As a Filipino American, it really meant a lot to me to be able to go back and contribute to the community that raised me in my early childhood," said Dr. Princess Urbina, obstetrics and gynecology at Northwestern Medicine. "You know, it’s striking sometimes, the level of gratitude that they express. To us, we’re just doing our jobs, but when you think about their reality -- and view it from their perspective -- then you get it. You get why they’re so grateful."

In the Philippines, less than five percent of the population has been fully vaccinated against HPV.

The group plans on returning to Salcedo in February.