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Addressing Obstacles to Global Cancer Care at the ASCO Annual Meeting

On June 2, oncology professionals from around the world will gather in Chicago for the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) Annual Meeting. Each year, this conference provides health workers specializing in oncology with the opportunity to connect with their colleagues and discuss future trends and current controversies affecting their field.

Access to and provision of cancer care in resource-scarce countries is an issue sure to be on the minds of many at the conference. At present, roughly 70 percent of all cancer deaths occur in low- and middle-income countries. Lack of access to screening and other preventive services contributes to an increased prevalence of advanced-stage diagnoses in LMICs. More advanced-stage diagnoses along with reduced access to treatment services and specialty providers result in worse disease outcomes and higher mortality rates in many resource-scarce countries. Frequently, the true burden of cancer in these countries is unknown due to the absence of a national cancer registry.

Attendees at the 2017 ASCO Annual Meeting will have the opportunity to discuss the obstacles associated with diagnosing, treating and preventing cancer in resource-scarce settings during a number of educational sessions:

  • On Friday, June 2, from 3:45-6 pm, the extended educational session, “Global Health Initiatives of the International Oncology Community,” will explore how professional societies and non-governmental organizations can collaborate to advance global cancer care.
  • On Saturday, June 3, from 8-9:15 am, the session, “Alternative Approaches to Prevention, Early Detection, and Implementation in Global Health,” will examine the economic and cultural barriers to screening and early detection that contribute to global cancer disparities.

Attendees who wish to supplement the information gained by attending these and other similar sessions may wish to visit HVO in the exhibit hall. Our staff will be at booth #3041 waiting to answer your questions about volunteering abroad, and to share information about our oncology program, which includes projects at universities and hospitals in Bhutan, Honduras, Nepal and Vietnam.

Not attending the ASCO Annual Meeting this year? Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram to stay up-to-date on new projects and other news from our global health community.

Not an oncologist? Use our project finder to discover a global volunteer assignment in your specialty area.

HVO is grateful to ASCO, the Society of Gynecologic Oncology (SGO), the American Society of Hematology (ASH), the Society of Surgical Oncology (SSO) and the Oncology Nursing Society (ONS) for supporting our work in global cancer care.

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