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The Radiation Oncology Department at Brigham and Women's Hospital

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Cancer in Developing Countries – The Facts

The Association of Residents in Radiation Oncology has come up with the following facts about cancer in the developing world:

  • Seven out of 10 cancer deaths across the world occur in developing countries.
  • Cancer kills more people than HIV/AIDS, malaria, and tuberculosis do.
  • 12.7 million new cases of cancer are detected every year around the world, and the majority of those new cases occur in developing countries.
  • People in developing countries lack access to radiation equipment. The equipment they do have access to is often old and insufficient.
  • In the US, there is approximately one machine for every 105,000 people and 2% of machines are cobalt. In Africa, there is one machine per 4.8 million people and 48% of machines are cobalt. In South America, there is one machine for every 640,000 people and 39 percent of machines are cobalt.

Princess Margaret Cancer Centre

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Applying to Radiation Oncology | A Program Director s Perspective by Dr. Neha Vapiwala

The Humanitarian Side of Radiation Oncology

Although many radiation oncologists believe it´s difficult to do humanitarian work abroad due to the importance of the costly and large equipment associated with this field, there are a number of opportunities budding radiation oncologist humanitarians can take advantage of.

Radiating Hope

Radiation Hope provides radiation equipment to developing countries. It´s a 100% volunteer-run, mountain climbing, cancer-cure focused nonprofit organization, whose mission is to improve cancer care around the globe. Here´s a video about how The Prayer Flag Project works. To join the 2016 Greater Horn Oncology Symposium, click here.

Foundation for Cancer Care in Tanzania

The Foundation for Cancer Care in Tanzania (FCCT) was founded in 2013 to help
address the gaping need for cancer care in the east African country of Tanzania. A cancer diagnosis in Tanzania is likely to be a death sentence. The country currently has the capacity to serve about 15% of the nationwide cases of cancer each year. Many patients present far too late in their illnesses to receive anything more than palliative care.

The Foundation for Cancer Care in Tanzania uses education, programs for prevention and screening, and services providing treatment and palliation to improve the lives of people with cancer in Tanzania. Working in partnership with regional and international partners, FCCT is building a comprehensive, sustainable cancer care system to serve cancer patients across the Northern Healthcare Zone of Tanzania.

The immediate objective is to build a brand-new medical oncology clinic at the Kilimanjaro Christian Medical Centre (KCMC) in Moshi. In the long-term, FCCT plans to implement a “hub-and-spoke” model of care that delivers prevention, screening, diagnosis, treatment and palliative care options at every level of the healthcare system in this region. To find out about volunteering opportunities, check out this page.

International Radiology Exchange

This nonprofit Final del formulario

organization provides radiology interpretation and imaging expertise to humanitarian medical organizations as well as physicians in the developing world.

The group is comprised of subspecialized academic radiologists, private practice radiologists, radiology residents and fellows, other healthcare professionals and imaging technologists. They offer:

  • Interpretation of radiology studies from humanitarian medical organizations and medical missions abroad.
  • Interpretation of radiology studies for physicians requiring a primary reading.
  • Secondary consultations on studies obtained and reviewed elsewhere.
  • 3D reconstruction and imaging modifications for surgical planning, etc..
  • Education on imaging-related topics.

You can donate something to the organization or get involved by contacting them here.