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Improving Cancer Care Through Education

Cancer is a leading cause of death worldwide, and the global burden of cancer is on the rise. The World Health Organization predicts that the total number of cases will increase by as much as 70 percent over the next two decades, reaching a high of 22 million cases annually.

The impact of this increase will likely be felt the most in resource-scarce countries. More than half of all cancer cases and nearly two-thirds of all cancer-related deaths occur in less developed regions of the world. Lack of access to screening and treatment services leads to worse health outcomes and preventable death in many of these cases.

HVO’s oncology and hematology programs are dedicated to reducing the burden of cancer in resource-scarce countries by strengthening the capacity of the local cancer care workforce. HVO volunteers provide training and continuing education in cancer treatment and disease management at all stages—from prevention and early detection to palliative care. The below video provides an inside look at a Palliative Care Workshop held in Tegucigalpa, Honduras last year. The workshop was supported by HVO and the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO).

As World Cancer Day approaches, many are considering how they can contribute to the fight against cancer. A gift to support HVO would help us continue to grow our hematology and oncology programs to reach even more cancer care providers, and by extension more cancer patients, in low-resource settings. If you are a member of the cancer care workforce, you can contribute by volunteering at one of our numerous project sites.

At present, there is a pressing need for volunteers at HVO’s oncology training project in Honduras. This project focuses on the ongoing development of an oncology training program for both adult and pediatric oncology at three centers in Tegucigalpa. Gynecologic oncologists are needed at this site from May 7-13 and August 6-12, and breast oncologists are needed from November 5-11. Surgical oncologists are needed at the project site for each time frame as well. Volunteer opportunities are also available at project sites in Bhutan and Nepal. Interested individuals should contact HVO’s project support manager Andrea Moody for more information.

HVO is grateful for the support of our sponsors: 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). Together with these organizations, HVO is working to reduce the global burden of cancer and improve disease outcomes for cancer patients in resource-scarce countries.

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