Patient Stories

A Story of Cancer Survival: Agnes Ycasiano

By The Medical City | April 17, 2020

It is something everyone with a history of cancer in the family dreads most. Agnes Ycasiano, a 68-year-old clinical psychologist came face-to-face with the prospect of her own mortality in February 2017 (1-1/2 yrs. ago), when breast surgeon Dr. Aldine Basa of The Medical City told her and her husband: “It’s malignant.”


It is something everyone with a history of cancer in the family dreads most. Agnes Ycasiano, a 68-year-old clinical psychologist came face-to-face with the prospect of her own mortality in February 2017 (1-1/2 yrs. ago), when breast surgeon Dr. Aldine Basa of The Medical City told her and her husband: “It’s malignant.”

Dr. Basa explained that the 1.4 cm mass she got in Agnes’ left breast after a biopsy showed Stage 1 breast cancer. This was later labelled as Stage 2-A, because it had spread to a lymph node.

Agnes, who is trained to manage emotions including her own, took things calmly. Her faith in God also sustained her.

Agnes figured that since God gave her cancer, He can also heal her. Submission to His Holy will kept her from falling apart.

“Friends joked that it seemed to them that it was my husband Dennis who had cancer. At the outset, it was very hard for him to accept that he could lose his beloved wife too early,” she laughs.

But they did not know the whole story. Agnes describes her husband Dennis as “my rock.” She opened up to him about her fears, and so did he. Of course, he did not want to see her go. But in order to help her allay her fears and decide on her treatment, Dennis told her he was going to accept their fate – “that it will be hard but I will be alright.”

Her husband’s love inspired Agnes to fight.

She researched on conventional and natural cancer treatments. She agreed to go under the knife which enabled the removal of the mass on her left breast and 23 nearby lymph nodes, only one of which was malignant. Agnes told Dr. Basa that her preference was breast preservation, but she could do a mastectomy if she deemed it was fit.

Again, Agnes’ faith came to the rescue. As she was being wheeled into the surgery room, she imagined the Blessed Virgin Mary standing on her left, and Jesus Christ on her right, with the heavenly choirs of angels surrounding her Agnes had a lumpectomy and 33 radiation sessions. After that, she put her foot down when it came to chemotherapy and Dr. Basa did not object to this. The doctor also agreed to preserve Agnes’ left breast.

“Then it seemed chemotherapy was not necessary because it was not that bad (she had stage 2-A breast cancer) and all my other organ ultrasounds showed negative results for possible spread,” explains Agnes.

“I told myself I will still be able to fight this with my medicines, and disciplined nutrition and exercise.”

Dr. Basa’s decision to follow her will touched Agnes. By respecting her decision, Dr. Basa made Agnes feel that she was a true partner in the decision-making process.

Today, Agnes has yet to find any reason to worry again. Ultrasound tests for the past year showed no spread and negative results. And she is praying it will remain the same in August, when she comes back to The Medical City for the third round of her follow-up monitoring tests, which are done every-six-months.

Cancer has made the already disciplined Agnes even more health- conscious. She fights the temptation to go back to bed and wakes up at 6:00 a.m. for her morning walks with her husband around the Quezon City subdivision where they live. When work permits, the happy couple walks for more than an hour, and this usually happens around three to five times a week.

To complement the Arimidex and Caltrate medicines and other vitamins prescribed to her, Agnes is now more alert about what she eats. She knows sugar feeds cancer cells so sweets are banned on her plate, and she hopes to influence the use of sugar at her home table. She and her husband stick to brown and/or black rice, because she believes the white variety leads to a rise in sugar levels, which has been linked to cancer Agnes has also stopped indulging in her love for white bread because of its high sugar content. She makes herself a tall glass of vegetable shake made up of guyabano, carrots and other cancer-fighting fruits every morning. Agnes takes half of the shake in the morning and the other half at night.

Friends remark that she has not looked this good. Thanks to Agnes, they look at cancer in a more positive way.

“I’m not scared of dying. If it happens, my husband and I have talked about it. I’ll do whatever that has to be done short of chemo to fight cancer. I’ve led a good life. I’ve served and continue to serve people through my profession. I have no regrets,” smiles Agnes.

Thanks to her faith, family, doctors and self-discipline, Agnes remains the oldest in her family to survive cancer.

In proving that she can, Agnes is showing that others can as well.



A Story of Cancer Survival: Agnes Ycasiano

By The Medical City ,

April 17, 2020


It is something everyone with a history of cancer in the family dreads most. Agnes Ycasiano, a 68-year-old clinical psychologist came face-to-face with the prospect of her own mortality in February 2017 (1-1/2 yrs. ago), when breast surgeon Dr. Aldine Basa of The Medical City told her and her husband: “It’s malignant.”

It is something everyone with a history of cancer in the family dreads most. Agnes Ycasiano, a 68-year-old clinical psychologist came face-to-face with the prospect of her own mortality in February 2017 (1-1/2 yrs. ago), when breast surgeon Dr. Aldine Basa of The Medical City told her and her husband: “It’s malignant.”

Dr. Basa explained that the 1.4 cm mass she got in Agnes’ left breast after a biopsy showed Stage 1 breast cancer. This was later labelled as Stage 2-A, because it had spread to a lymph node.

Agnes, who is trained to manage emotions including her own, took things calmly. Her faith in God also sustained her.

Agnes figured that since God gave her cancer, He can also heal her. Submission to His Holy will kept her from falling apart.

“Friends joked that it seemed to them that it was my husband Dennis who had cancer. At the outset, it was very hard for him to accept that he could lose his beloved wife too early,” she laughs.

But they did not know the whole story. Agnes describes her husband Dennis as “my rock.” She opened up to him about her fears, and so did he. Of course, he did not want to see her go. But in order to help her allay her fears and decide on her treatment, Dennis told her he was going to accept their fate – “that it will be hard but I will be alright.”

Her husband’s love inspired Agnes to fight.

She researched on conventional and natural cancer treatments. She agreed to go under the knife which enabled the removal of the mass on her left breast and 23 nearby lymph nodes, only one of which was malignant. Agnes told Dr. Basa that her preference was breast preservation, but she could do a mastectomy if she deemed it was fit.

Again, Agnes’ faith came to the rescue. As she was being wheeled into the surgery room, she imagined the Blessed Virgin Mary standing on her left, and Jesus Christ on her right, with the heavenly choirs of angels surrounding her Agnes had a lumpectomy and 33 radiation sessions. After that, she put her foot down when it came to chemotherapy and Dr. Basa did not object to this. The doctor also agreed to preserve Agnes’ left breast.

“Then it seemed chemotherapy was not necessary because it was not that bad (she had stage 2-A breast cancer) and all my other organ ultrasounds showed negative results for possible spread,” explains Agnes.

“I told myself I will still be able to fight this with my medicines, and disciplined nutrition and exercise.”

Dr. Basa’s decision to follow her will touched Agnes. By respecting her decision, Dr. Basa made Agnes feel that she was a true partner in the decision-making process.

Today, Agnes has yet to find any reason to worry again. Ultrasound tests for the past year showed no spread and negative results. And she is praying it will remain the same in August, when she comes back to The Medical City for the third round of her follow-up monitoring tests, which are done every-six-months.

Cancer has made the already disciplined Agnes even more health- conscious. She fights the temptation to go back to bed and wakes up at 6:00 a.m. for her morning walks with her husband around the Quezon City subdivision where they live. When work permits, the happy couple walks for more than an hour, and this usually happens around three to five times a week.

To complement the Arimidex and Caltrate medicines and other vitamins prescribed to her, Agnes is now more alert about what she eats. She knows sugar feeds cancer cells so sweets are banned on her plate, and she hopes to influence the use of sugar at her home table. She and her husband stick to brown and/or black rice, because she believes the white variety leads to a rise in sugar levels, which has been linked to cancer Agnes has also stopped indulging in her love for white bread because of its high sugar content. She makes herself a tall glass of vegetable shake made up of guyabano, carrots and other cancer-fighting fruits every morning. Agnes takes half of the shake in the morning and the other half at night.

Friends remark that she has not looked this good. Thanks to Agnes, they look at cancer in a more positive way.

“I’m not scared of dying. If it happens, my husband and I have talked about it. I’ll do whatever that has to be done short of chemo to fight cancer. I’ve led a good life. I’ve served and continue to serve people through my profession. I have no regrets,” smiles Agnes.

Thanks to her faith, family, doctors and self-discipline, Agnes remains the oldest in her family to survive cancer.

In proving that she can, Agnes is showing that others can as well.


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