"By joining forces, we can offer cancer patients of all ages a chance at life," says Dr. Shulman.

By Lawrence Shulman, Chief Medical Officer, Dana Farber Cancer Institute

Dana-Farber, partnering with Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Children’s Hospital Boston, offers patients highly advanced treatments in modern facilities. Our patients also benefit from an excellent staff, clinical research, and extensive resources, and many of them survive cancer to live long and healthy lives.

Is it fair, then, that cancer remains a death sentence elsewhere in the world? In Rwanda, for example, a country of 10 million people, cancer care has been completely unavailable to almost all patients. They die of cancers that could have been cured in Boston.

Dana-Farber/Brigham and Women’s Cancer Center is bringing expertise and resources to countries such as Rwanda, Malawi, and Haiti, in collaboration with Partners in Health, and with support from the Jeff Gordon Children’s Foundation, the Lance Armstrong Foundation, and Michele and Howard Kessler. Teamwork is critical here; PIH is skilled at delivering health care in very resource-poor places, but lacks specific cancer expertise. We understand cancer, but not how to care for patients in such challenging areas, where much of the infrastructure required for cancer care (such as pathology labs) is missing. By joining forces, we can offer cancer patients of all ages a chance at life.

We’re beginning in the tiny nation of Rwanda, the most densely populated country in Africa and one of the poorest in the world. Our goal is not only to help bring cancer care to individual children and adults, but also to work with the Rwandan ministries in developing the policies and infrastructure needed for this work to take place.

Read Dr. Shulman's full blog post on Dana Farber's website.