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“Together Against Cancer”

The 4th Annual Cancer Symposium was on September 19th-20th, 2022, as a hybrid virtual in-person event. The symposium was organized by UNC Project Malawi Cancer Program and the Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center in collaboration with the Malawi Ministry of Health.

Key stakeholders were invited to present issues related to cancer strategy, care, advocacy and research in Malawi, including current challenges, future priorities and opportunities to work together across organizations. Though initiatives to improve the lives, care and outcomes for those living with cancer in Malawi are growing, the burden of cancer in Malawi continues to be a major public health concern.

This keynote speaker was Dr. Michael Mwachiro, who is the founder of the African Esophageal Cancer Consortium. Dr. Mwachiro has made extensive contributions to research in esophageal cancer in sub-Saharan Africa where the burden of esophageal cancer is exceptionally high. He has a specific expertise in screening and early detection of esophageal cancer, specifically, he is known for his role in implementing the first endoscopic screening for esophageal cancer with Lugol’s chromoendoscopy in Africa for detecting esophageal squamous dysplasia.

In addition to the keynote speaker, Key representatives from the Ministry of Health highlighted the national cancer strategy, as well updates from representatives of KCH showcased the progress of the National Cancer Treatment Center. On the second second day of the symposium, a number of organizations involved in cancer research throughout Malawi, gave presentations highlighting the contributions of trainees. They also presented about the surgical oncology in Malawi. The symposium closed out with plenary sessions on advances in cancer diagnosis and treatment, updates on pediatric oncology, updates on the cancer programs at UNC, nursing oncology, and some of the training opportunities that are available in Malawi and beyond.

The summary of the submitted abstracts is available here: Booklet MCS2022_FINAL and the agenda is available here: Agenda MCS 2022