MANILA – “I have cancer of the left lung, which makes it difficult for me to breathe. I think you have noticed that for the past years, I’ve always had difficulty. I’ve always had shortness of breath,” Senator Miriam Defensor Santiago said at a news conference on Wednesday, as she announced that she has been diagnosed with Stage IV lung cancer.
Doctors have not determined the cause of her lung cancer, but have said that it is not metastatic, Santiago added. She also said she remains hopeful that the cancer would be cured in six weeks with the medication she has been prescribed.
“Today, chemotherapy has been reduced to a tablet. This tablet is called molecular targeting,” Santiago said.
“This is some sort of magic tablet so that I won’t have to take anything and in effect, it will give me all the effects of chemotherapy without the side effects. So I hope to be able to see you in six weeks, fully cured of cancer,” she added.
The office of Santiago provided members of the media with a report from Makati Medical Center, stating that a biopsy performed on June 21 revealed tumor cells in the senator’s left lung.
Santiago likewise disclosed that she has a rare condition which enables her lung cells to fight off cancer.
“I have a very rare condition called behavioral mutancy. By themselves, the cells in my left lungs develop a genetic mutation that makes them impermeable to cancer and which gives them the energy to fight off cancer,” she said.
“It is not spreading. In my case, they are very well behaved. I believe in discipline all my life. Even my cancer cells are showing excellent discipline,” she added.
True to her ever-quirky, idiosyncratic attitude, Santiago joked about her condition with the sarcastic, cutting humour for which she has become known.
“I don’t know what the reactions of my enemies are. Maybe they’ll be happy because I might die and then they could get rid of me. On the other hand, I might survive and I’ll get rid of them,” Santiago said.
“I am very excited. I said yes, I have cancer. Now, I am entering another dimension of human life. That has always been my attitude,” she followed up.