, Volume 29, Issue 1, pp 14-18

Promoting Cancer Control Training in Resource Limited Environments: Lagos, Nigeria

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Abstract

In resource limited nations, cancer control is often a lower priority issue creating challenges for the prevention, early diagnosis, and treatment of cancer. Training and education are vital components of efforts to tackle this problem. A 3-day cancer control workshop was conducted at the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital (LASUTH), Nigeria, in 2013. The curriculum included didactic lectures, panel discussions, and interactive sessions on local cancer statistics, preventive strategies, cancer registries, screening and diagnostic options, and treatment approaches with limited resources (chemotherapy, radiotherapy, surgery, and palliative care) and several site-specific (breast, lung, cervical, prostate, and colon) topics. Pre-workshop and post-workshop questionnaires were completed by participants. Eighty-six percent of the 50 workshop participants completed at least one questionnaire. Participants were mainly nurses and physicians (89 % of responders), and 40 % reported >25 years of practice experience. The more common local needs identified were professional education (65 %) and increasing public cancer awareness (63 %). The greatest interest for future programs was on research collaborations (70 %). An immediate impact of the workshop was the commencement of monthly tumor board conferences and a review of the current cancer registry data. Capacity building is critical for the execution of effective cancer control strategies. Conducting collaborative workshops represents a cost-effective means of launching programs and energizing the medical community to pursue ongoing education and research addressing the anticipated cancer epidemic on the African continent.

This work has been supported by a UICC International Cancer Technology Transfer Fellowship funded by the American Society of Clinical Oncology.