WHERE THERE IS NO ONCOLOGIST
A MANUAL OF PRACTICAL ONCOLOGY IN RESOURCE-LIMITED SETTINGS
Kelechi Eguzo, MD 1
Chisara Umezurike, MD 1
Charlotte Jacobs, MD 3
Brian Camazine, MD 1,2
1 Nigerian Christian Hospital
2 Earthwide Surgical Foundation
3 Stanford University School of Medicine
For several decades, I have been making pilgrimages to the Nigerian Christian Hospital (NCH) on humanitarian surgical trips. As a result of my interest and training in surgical oncology, an increasing number of cancer cases have come under my care. Initially, these were approached largely from the surgical aspects because few patients could afford chemotherapy, and no physician had any specific interest in oncology. I could perform surgery in a few weeks time but was unable to manage chemotherapy from the USA.
Several years ago, a confluence of opportunities arose. I began to take 3-4 trips per year to NCH rather than just one; I formed a collaboration with Dr. Danny Milner, pathologist at Harvard’s Brigham and Women’s Hospital; and, most importantly, I met a young, ambitious physician, Dr. Kelechi Eguzo. At the time, many of our cancer patients were being referred to teaching hospitals for chemotherapy. I suggested to Dr. Kelechi that we stop this practice and deliver comprehensive oncology care at NCH. Dr. Kelechi took the idea and ran with it. He contacted many international oncologists, studied oncology on the internet and became a self-made oncologist. Thus, the Nigerian Christian Hospital’s Oncology Service was born!
Soon, we realized that the knowledge we were acquiring would be helpful for practitioners in resource-limited environments where residency trained oncologists are rare or non-existent. We decided to write a hands-on manual so that a greater spectrum of practitioners could deliver the basics of cancer care. Thus, Where There is No Oncologist was born.
We hope this manual will continue to evolve with time and be available to many practitioners. If you want a copy of the manual, email me and I will send it.
Brian Camazine, MD
General, Thoracic, and Head and Neck Surgeon
Chief of Surgery, Nigerian Christian Hospital