University of California, Irvine (UCI) OB/GYN fellows, Dr. Fong Liu and Dr. Sara Jordan, traveled to Zambia in February to spread breast health education with the support of our local community including Susan G. Komen for the Cure, Orange County and UCI.
Recently, Dr. Liu and Dr. Jordan stopped by the Komen Orange County offices and told their story during a Lunch ‘n Learn.
Breast cancer is the second cause of cancer and cancer death in Zambia. (Cervical cancer is number one.) There is only one mammogram machine owned by the government that services Lusaka, Zambia, a town of 1.7 million.
Dr. Groesbeck Parham, the Co-Director, CIDRZ Cervical Cancer Prevention Program in Zambia, asked Dr. Liu and Dr. Jordan to lead a half-day training seminar for breast cancer to a group of nurses and doctors in Zambia.
There is no subspecialty training in Zambia so there are no specialized breast surgeons like there are in the U.S. Doctors are hoping to establish programs in Zambia for breast health education and cancer prevention.
Because there is widespread need for research, they are also trying to bring to light the characteristics of the women who present with cancer, the type of cancer they present with (stage, cell type, etc.) and how the diagnosis and treatment affect their quality of life.
Dr. Liu and Dr. Jordan brought the Komen (and OC affiliate) mission with them to Zambia in the form of breast self-awareness education materials, Komen wrist bands, Race for the Cure T-shirts, baseballs and scarves. A recent note from Dr. Parham expresses that the nurses there still ask for more of these materials.