Nigeria’s First Cancer Center a Roswell Park & Lakeshore Partnership

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Roswell Park Cancer Institute’s partnership with a new cancer center in Nigeria brings specialty cancer services to 175 million people for the first time.

The Lakeshore Cancer Center in Nigeria officially opened in January in Victoria Island, Lagos, as the country’s first cancer center. But rather than starting from scratch with no experience, the center has a major player on its team in Roswell Park, the oldest cancer center in the United States.

The Buffalo cancer hospital is providing training, education and clinical care oversight and research programs to Lakeshore under a memorandum of understanding with the Foundation for Cancer Care in West Africa.

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Leading the effort is Dr. Chukwumere “Chumy” Nwogu, CEO and medical director at Lakeshore. A Nigerian native, Nwogu joined Roswell Park in 1999 and now serves as its interim chair of thoracic surgery.

“Cancer is an enormous problem all over the world,” he said. “You hear a lot about HIV, TB and malaria, but more people die from cancer globally than all those three combined. Low-to-middle income countries carry a disproportionately higher burden of death from cancer, so it’s very appropriate for us to be doing this.”

Candace Johnson, CEO at Roswell Park, called the partnership a natural extension of the hospital’s mission.

“Our mission to understand, prevent and cure cancer always takes us to new and unexpected directions and sometimes even great distances,” she said. “Imagine a country of 175 million people who don’t have have access to a cancer center until just the last few months. The Lakeshore Cancer Center and Roswell Park are coming together in a very productive way.”

The partnership also puts Roswell Park ahead of the curve among other National Cancer Institute-designated cancer centers, which have been encouraged to do more globally to fight cancer. Many of those centers have begun educational programs, but Roswell Park’s partnership goes a big step further, Nwogu said.

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