martes, 7 de febrero de 2017

Our Global Voices | Blogs | CDC

Our Global Voices | Blogs | CDC

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The Stakes are High, the Goal the Same – Overcome Cancer

Posted on  by Elizabeth Van Dyne, MD, MPH EIS Officer

As a pediatric oncologist, I have sat across from a family and told them the heart wrenching news that their child has cancer. Many families tell me later that this was the worst day of their lives. Although I was the bearer of bad news, I had a strong oncology training, a collaborative team of healthcare professionals with multidisciplinary backgrounds, and the resources to help many families beat cancer.
The U.S. has had many cancer treatment success stories where people can live long healthy lives after a diagnosis. One success story is the treatment of the most common childhood cancer – acute lymphoblastic leukemia, a cancer of white blood cells. Through clinical trials, research, and collaboration, the 5-year survival rate for acute lymphoblastic leukemia in the U.S. increased from 60% in 1975 to about 90% in 2010 for children 0-14 years1. Unfortunately, where you live affects your cancer diagnosis, treatment, and eventually survival2. The 5-year survival for the same type of cancer ranges from 34% in Mongolia to 54% in Columbia. In some places we do not know the survival rate because there are no cancer registries. This is because many developing countries don’t have the trained healthcare professionals, infrastructure, and resources necessary to diagnose and treat cancer.
People, regardless of where they live, shouldn’t die of cancers we know how to prevent or treat.

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I joined the Office of International Cancer Control in the Division of Cancer Prevention and Control at CDC as an Epidemic Intelligence Service (EIS) Officer in July 2016. I transitioned from being an oncologist who treats individual patients to an EIS officer at CDC because I want to have a population-level impact in improving cancer outcomes in resource limited settings. Based on current knowledge, we can prevent about 40% of all cancers3. Most preventable cancers are linked to tobacco use, harmful alcohol use, unhealthy diet, and infectious agents (many that are vaccine preventable). I believe that people, regardless of where they live, shouldn’t die of cancers we know how to prevent or treat.

Poster at the Jamaican Cancer Society. Photo by Elizabeth Van Dyne.
Poster at the Jamaican Cancer Society. Photo by Elizabeth Van Dyne.

Data is important in population-level cancer control and prevention. Countries need surveillance systems, such as cancer registries, to know who has what type of cancer in order to design and implement effective cancer prevention and treatment plans for their population. Yet high-quality cancer registries cover only 14% of the world’s total population4.
For my first project at CDC, I travelled to Jamaica and the Bahamas to provide technical assistance as they established comprehensive population-based cancer registries. Dr. Tamu Sadler-Davidson of the Jamaican Ministry of Health stated, “[Registries are] critically important in taking an evidence-based approach to planning and monitoring some of our programs. We want data to be better able to understand the trends, distribution and causes as it relates to different types of cancers.” Our team made recommendations and shared experiences from cancer registration in the U.S, such as standardizing data collection processes across the country, building support for national cancer surveillance in the public sector as well as the medical community and public health agencies, and using technology to facilitate the timeliness, accuracy, and completeness of cancer data.
For my next project, I participated in The World Health Organization (WHO) Expert Consultation to Scale Up Cancer Care in the Eastern Mediterranean Region in Cairo, Egypt. I learned from colleagues from eight countries the strengths of their public health and healthcare systems, but also areas that could be improved. For example, some places do not have an action plan for preventing, detecting, and treating cancer. Other countries do not have access to medicines or experienced healthcare professionals. In the meeting we discussed what countries can to improve their cancer response and what tools they can use to monitor progress.

Dr. Elizabeth Van Dyne and Dr. Hussain Khalid, Professor Medical Oncology, Cairo University at WHO consultation in Cairo, Egypt
Dr. Elizabeth Van Dyne and Dr. Hussain Khalid, Professor Medical Oncology, Cairo University at WHO consultation in Cairo, Egypt

Being at CDC and visiting different countries has shown me that surveillance systems such as cancer registries and prevention are key for decreasing the burden of cancer. For example, vaccinating children and adolescents prevents cervical (HPV vaccine) and liver (HBV vaccine) cancers later in life. I look forward to continuing to work with public health professionals, healthcare providers, and families to meet the goal that every child who has cancer lives a long, healthy life. The stakes are high. The goal is the same –overcome cancer.

  1. Howlader N, Noone AM, Krapcho M: SEER Cancer Statistics Review (CSR) 1975-2013. Bethesda, Md: National Cancer Institute, 2015.
  2. Allemani C, Weir HK, Carreira H, Harewood R, Spika D, Wang XS, et al. Global surveillance of cancer survival 1995-2009: analysis of individual data for 25,676,887 patients from 279 population-based registries in 67 countries (CONCORD-2). Lancet. 2015 Mar 14;385(9972):977-1010. Epub 2014 Nov 26.
  3. Prevention. Cancer control: Knowledge into action: WHO Guide for Effective Programmes, Module 2 (electronic version). World Health Organization 2007.
  4. Cancer Incidence in Five Continents, Vol. X (electronic version). Lyon: International Agency for Research on Cancer. Accessed 13 January 2017.
Posted on  by Elizabeth Van Dyne, MD, MPH EIS OfficerLeave a comment


Protecting newborns from infection in healthcare settings

Each year, a staggering 3.6 million babies globally will die within the first four weeks of life. Tweet This As a mother, the safety of my baby is of utmost importance to me. Yet each year, a staggering 3.6 million babies globally will die within the first four weeks of life. Tragically, many of these Read More >
Posted on  by Rachel Smith, Medical Epidemiologist1 Comment


The Case for Global Health Security

Finding and stopping disease outbreaks at the earliest possible moment no matter where they emerge is important: to reduce illness and death, increase national security, and maintain economic gains made over the previous decades. Disease threats, after all, require only the smallest opening to take root and spread. In today’s tightly connected world a disease Read More >
Posted on  by Maureen BarteeLeave a comment


CDC Continues the Fight Against Polio

In 1988, when CDC joined three other partners to launch the ambitious Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI), the world was a much different and, measured by polio’s reach, dangerous place. Back then, polio existed in more than 125 countries and it paralyzed 350,000 children that year. Thanks to GPEI and the tireless work of its Read More >
Posted on  by Rebecca Martin, PhD, Director, Center for Global HealthLeave a comment


Innovation to Drive Impact: Reaching the Hardest to Reach

A version of this blog also appeared on As we mark World AIDS Day, we reflect on how far we’ve come and acknowledge the profound challenges that still remain. The scientific progress we’ve made since the first cases of AIDS that appeared more than 35 years ago has been nothing short of remarkable. The Read More >
Posted on  by Shannon Hader, MD, MPH, Director of CDC’s Division of Global HIV & TBLeave a comment


World AIDS Day 2016 Leadership Statement

  Below is a quote by Shannon Hader, MD, MPH, Director of CDC’s Division of Global HIV & TB: “On this World AIDS Day, we reflect upon the all too many lives—nearly 35 million–that have been lost since the first days of the epidemic, celebrate the leadership that has driven a major expansion of quality Read More >
Posted on  by Shannon Hader, MD, MPH, Director of CDC’s Division of Global HIV & TBLeave a comment


INSPIRED to End Violence Against Women and Children

November 25th is the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women and Girls. More than 1 billion children—half of all the children in the world—are victims of violence every year. And in many countries, one in four girls experience sexual violence before the age of eighteen. Every child has the right to grow Read More >
Posted on  by Dr. Deb Houry, Director, National Center for Injury Prevention and ControlLeave a comment


Choose the Road to Zero Motor Vehicle Crash Deaths

  The World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims takes place every third Sunday in November. It serves as a way to: Remember the millions of people killed and injured in road crashes as well as their families, friends and those affected; Pay tribute to the dedicated emergency responders, police and medical professionals who deal Read More >
Posted on  by Erin K. Sauber-Schatz, PhD, MPHLeave a comment

Everyone Needs Somewhere to Go: World Toilet Day 2016

We use toilets every day – at home, school, and work – yet 40% of the world’s population does not have this luxury.  Clean and safe toilets are more than just a place to use the restroom.  They are essential for health, human dignity, and improved education.   Sadly, 2.4 billion people are still using inadequate Read More >
Posted on  by Madison Walter, CDC Global Health Student InternLeave a comment

Measles: A Forgotten, but Formidable Foe

Since its inception, the CDC has played a major role in advancing the health security in dozens of countries by improving response times to the outbreaks of several vaccine-preventable diseases. Furthermore, its partnerships with other countries and philanthropic organizations have not only stopped outbreaks, but also improved disease surveillance, laboratory science, emergency operations, and health Read More >
Posted on  by James L. Goodson, MPH, Senior Measles Scientist at CDCLeave a comment

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