Non-profit launches monthly Tumor Boards to connect Bangladeshi physicians with US counterparts to review their most vexing cases
BOSTON, Oct. 28, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Global Cancer Institute (GCI), which is focused on improving survival rates for underserved cancer patients worldwide, announced today that it has extended its programs to Bangladesh, with the launch of new monthly Tumor Boards that help physicians and oncologists in developing countries connect directly to U.S. physicians by videoconference to discuss challenging cancer cases and ask for advice. The GCI Tumor Boards will be co-hosted by the Bangladesh Society for Breast Cancer Study (BSBCS), a nonprofit organization with the mission to eradicate breast cancer as a life-threatening disease.
Tumor Boards are common practice within U.S. hospitals, and have been proven to help boost survival rates for patients by enabling physicians to resolve challenging cases.
According to the ASCO Post, 1 in 10 deaths in Bangladesh is from cancer. Bangladesh spends 2.8% of its gross domestic product on health care, which is the 10th lowest in the world, impacting availability of preventive services. The country also has limited hospital resources, with 0.6 hospitals beds and 0.36 physicians per 1,000 people. (By contrast, the U.S. statistics are 2.8 and 2.6 respectively.)
"Breast cancer is the most common cancer among women in Bangladesh, and even basic preventive measures such as breast palpation are not available in primary care settings," said Dr. Arunangshu Das, General Secretary at BSBCS. "Once a woman develops breast cancer, her treatment options here are limited as there is tremendous shortage of oncologists. Our partnership with GCI to bring regular monthly Tumor Boards to Bangladesh offers patients and their physicians a lifeline to effective treatment."
GCI has welcomed Bangladeshi physicians to its Global Tumor Boards for many years, and one of GCI's best success stories came out of a relationship formed with a Bangladeshi physician and his patient, a girl who was diagnosed with breast cancer at just 8 years old. The physician's participation in a GCI Tumor Board led to a connection with U.S. physicians at Mt. Sinai Hospital in New York, who were able to admit the girl into a clinical trial for a new drug that ultimately saved her life.
Dr. Don S. Dizon, Co-Chief Medical Officer at GCI and Director of Medical Oncology at Rhode Island Hospital, will lead the local Bangladesh program. "Bangladesh is in a cancer crisis. This is an area where GCI can make a huge impact," said Dr. Dizon. "We're looking forward to working with our local colleagues to improve cancer care on the ground in Bangladesh."
About Global Cancer Institute
Global Cancer Institute (GCI) is focused on improving survival rates for underserved cancer patients worldwide. Today, cancer death rates in developing countries are double those in the U.S. - GCI is working to close that gap. GCI works directly with physicians in developing countries to propagate simple interventions and treatments that are common in the U.S. today, and proven to accelerate diagnosis, access and treatment. Learn more about our programs at http://globalcancerinstitute.org.
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SOURCE Global Cancer Institute