Roberto AngioliCampus Bio Medico University of Rome Professional Title: Professor and Director of Gynecology Department
IGCS Member since 1997.
My devotion to gynecologic oncology is a lifelong commitment. I chose to pursue a career in this specialty because it allows for intimate human interaction, and is a perfect link between medical and surgical aspects.
I would like to focus on providing young professionals with more opportunities for education and training and I intend to give a strong emphasis on the holistic care and quality of life of women with gynecological cancer, giving greater attention to spiritual, psycho-social and sexual health and other consequences of female cancer. I would also like eliminate barriers between developed and developing countries and minimizing large therapeutic gaps so that all women could receive optimal treatment, regardless of their origin or their social status.
Adu Appiah-KubiKomfo Anokye Teaching Hospital, Kumasi & University of Health & Allied Sciences, Ghana
Cancer on the African continent is on the increase. According to World Health Organization (WHO) data, in 2012 alone more than 8.2 million people died from cancer, and about two thirds of those were in low- and middle-income countries, the many of which are in Africa. The most common cancers in Africa are that of the cervix, breast, liver and prostate. Incidence of cancer impoverishes the sufferer and the family and is even more profound when the patient is a woman.
Having had a first hand experience watching my mother die from liver cancer, Gynaecology Oncology has always been my preferred area of study as I aspire to save many families from the pains mine went through with my mother.
There is a feeling of trust that develops between a doctor and a patient when the doctor genuinely cares for the patient and is empathetic to the patient’s plight. This gives me joy and satisfaction and is what motivates me to always give my all for my patients. Not only do I want to dedicate my life caring for women with gynaecological cancer, but my ambition is to participate in research that contributes to the reduction in the incidence of such cancers.
My daily activities involve providing service at the teaching hospital where I work and teach medical students and residents. I also work as a lecturer in a medical school in the university. I volunteer my spare time to an organisation which does free medical outreach to the underprivileged performing free gynaecologic surgeries and educating them on diseases. My passion is caring for women with cancer and I am particularly interested in cervical cancer and ovarian cancer.
I am currently working on a a project in cervical cancer seeking to find the reasons why our women present so late to the hospital and finding ways of curbing that and also trying to secure funding to work on the incidence of BRCA in Ghanaian women with ovarian cancer. I will appreciate a collaboration to this effect. I am very privileged to have been selected for the 2019 IGCS Shingo Fujii Young Doctors Summit Travel Grant to attend the 2019 IGCS Meeting in Japan in the same year I was honoured as the best doctor (snr category) in my hospital which is the second biggest teaching hospital in Ghana. I am also privileged to have been selected to receive funding for the 2019 IGCS Visiting Scholar and Mentorship Program.
Hennie BothaGynecologic Oncologist, Stellenbosch University and Tygerberg Hospital
IGCS Member since 2005
I decided to pursue a career in gynecologic oncology because the field offers unique opportunities to make an impact on individuals affected by cancer but also to act on a much larger scale through prevention strategies. In Cape Town, South Africa, I work in a setting with high rates of cervical cancer. Prevention strategies are improving and provides hope for the future.
Bruno BustosMedical Oncologist, Fernandez Hospital, Buenos Aires, Argentina
IGCS Member Since 2017
I am passionate about gynecological and breast tumors, because they are all different cases, no patient is the same as another. In the hospital, I am fortunate to be able to dedicate my practice solely to attending to patients with gynecological and breast tumors, every day of my life!
Allan CovensProfessor & Chair, Gynecologic Oncology, University of Toronto
IGCS Member since 1990
I decided to pursue a career in gynecologic oncology because it is a fascinating specialty with so much study and research. Every patient is unique and there are many unmet needs and challenges in the specialty.
My day to day activities include mentorship of junior faculty and fellows and I take pleasure from their successes. I continually push the boundaries of our specialty, questioning what we do and why. A driving force in my practice is to constantly examine if there is something better that we could or should be doing to for our patients by exploring new options in surgery and the management of malignancies.
Lynette DennyProfessor, University of Cape Town/Groote Schuur Hospital
IGCS member since 1998.
I decided to pursue a career in gynecologic oncology because I was drawn to the inequity of access and quality of care of women with gynaecological cancer between low, middle and high income countries and to look for pragmatic and realistic ways if preventing cervical cancer among women in developing countries.
I run large community based awareness, early detection and prevention programmes, I teach at both under and postgraduate level, supervise masters and PhD students and contribute to providing a large mulitidisciplinary clinical service to women with gynaecological cancer.
Don DizonLifespan Cancer Institute, Rhode Island Hospital, Alpert Medical School of Brown University
IGCS Member Since 2012
I am a medical oncologist but I've been passionate about women's cancers since medical school. I was fortunate that the opportunity to specialize in gyn oncology was an option during my fellowship. The patients are incredible and the science as well - plus there are so many discoveries waiting to be made.
I am currently the Director for Women's Cancers at Lifespan Cancer Institute, which includes overseeing the academic development towards a center of excellence within our breast and gynecologic cancers divisions. I mentor both faculty and fellows across specialties and also run a sexual health first responders clinic in the cancer center. I continue to be involved in social media and professional use, as both the chair of the Social Media Working Group for ASCO and the Digital Engagement Committee for SWOG. Finally, I continue to be involved in novel approaches to women's cancers as PI for multiple trials and as the co-chair of the Cervical Cancer Task Force for the US National Cancer Institute.
Joel Fokom DomgueDepartment of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University Hospital Centre, Yaounde, Cameroon
IGCS Member since 2014
As an African citizen, some of my family members who I cared a lot for have been pulled out of life, sometimes at a young age, due to poorly managed gynecological cancer.
As an African physician and clinical researcher, I quickly noticed the steadily increasing magnitude of gynecological malignancies in my clinical practice. Given the limitations of health systems in Cameroon as in most settings in sub-Saharan Africa, the majority of cancer patients have to be referred to tertiary level hospitals for proper management. However, very few patients can actually afford to visit these referral hospitals, because they are often from rural and remote settings, of low socio-economic level and disadvantaged backgrounds.
Moreover, I realized the little interest of physicians in sub-Sahara Africa for gynecology oncology. In fact, cancer patients often arrive at an advanced stage of the disease, when the management is difficult, costly, long, and multidisciplinary, often resulting in an uncertain outcome. In addition, the lack of chemotherapy, radiotherapy and palliative care services to accompany clinicians in the care of cancer patients in Africa does not arouse their enthusiasm for this specialty. Even those who have an interest in gynecologic oncology barely find locally an academic and clinical structure that offers such training. As far as I know, there is no practicing doctor in Cameroon to date, who is certified in oncology gynecology. Yet, the number of cancer patients in need of adequate care is constantly increasing. All these factors have prompted me to take an interest in this promising specialty, with the goal of making my modest contribution to raising awareness about the burden of gynecologic cancers in Africa, to help in providing comprehensive care to women’s cancer patients in my country while ensuring the promotion of gynecologic oncology among doctors in Africa.
I work in a reference hospital in my country as a gynecologist and colposcopist. In this capacity, I practice my clinical activity in a unit of gynecology oncology where I take care of patients with gynecological cancers. Briefly, the first step of my work is to confirm the diagnosis, then to determine the stage of the disease, to set up a multidisciplinary care plan, to perform surgical treatment when indicated, or to send patients to other specialized departments (chemotherapy, radiotherapy, intensive care unit, etc…). As a colposcopist, I carry out colposcopic examinations especially in patients referred for abnormal cytology or VIA positive. In this way, I participate in the detection and management of precancerous lesions of the uterus cervix. The treatment options for cervical dysplasia available in my department include crotherapy, LEEP and hysterectomy.
My prevention activities are not confined to cervical cancer but include other gynecological cancers. For instance, clinical breast examination is practiced and breast self-examination is taught to women who consult for various reasons in the department of obstetrics and gynecology of the University Hospital Centre of Yaounde, Cameroon. In families considered to be at risk, genetic screening for breast or ovarian cancers is advised.
In addition, in collaboration with the National Cancer Control Committee of Cameroon, I regularly participate in the organization of awareness campaigns and screening and management campaigns for cervical and breast cancers in rural areas. I also participate in the reflection aimed at elaborating the national strategic plan for gynecological cancers control in my country.
As a clinical researcher, I have noticed that cervical cancer control strategies currently being promoted by WHO do not sufficiently take into account local demands and socio-cultural realities of developing countries. This has led me to get actively involved in research projects aimed at designing realistic and cost-effective strategies for cervical cancer screening and management that are suitable for resource-constrained settings, especially African countries. On the other hand, with the advent of vaccination against HPV, I have started collaborating with partner institutions including US National Cancer Institute (NCI) and the Union for International Cancer Control (UICC), to work out how to contextualize vaccination approaches against HPV in Africa, in order to achieve maximum effectiveness while ensuring scale-up and sustainability of immunization programs.
Walter GotliebProfessor and Director of Surgical Oncology, McGill University - Jewish General Hospital
IGCS member since 1992.
I decided to pursue a career in gynecologic oncology because it is a specialty with a genuinely caring prolonged intimate human interaction, extending over multiple facets of state of the art medicine.
My day to day activities consist of a blend of providing care and teaching in the clinic, the ward and the OR, mixed with bench to bedside translational and clinical research, influencing and innovating the practice of our specialty in the present while placing the seeds for the future.
Surbhi GroverUniversity of Pennsylvania
IGCS Member since 2014
Since medical school, I was interested in a career in global health. As I learned more about oncology and my interests in global health developed further, gynecological radiation oncology seemed to be the right fit due to the heavy burden of cervical cancer globally.
Since completing my training in 2014, I have been based full time in Botswana, in southern Africa. My work here entails running the largest public clinical oncology department, and focusing my clinical and academic work on women's cancers-gynecological and breast. Along with my local colleagues, I developed gynecological multi-disciplinary tumor board that allows us to provide streamlined and evidence based care to women around the country. Through this clinic, we have been able to to minimize delays in care and also develop a follow up care pathway for women with gynecological cancers. We hope to emulate this model for others common cancers in Botswana as well such as head and neck and breast.
Ajay HalderGynecologic Oncologist, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, Bhopal
IGCS Member since 2015
I chose to pursue a career in gynecologic cancer because the specialty poses challenge to a doctor's knowledge, skills and attitude and I would like to take up this challenge. My day to day activities include clinical management, teaching and research about obstetrics and gynecology including gynecological oncology.
Thomas HerzogDeputy Director University of Cincinnati Cancer Center
IGCS Member for more than 10 years
I pursued a career in gynecologic oncology because I was attracted to the opportunity to help women when the need is greatest through surgery and adjuvant therapies while helping to unravel the causes and newest treatments of cancers.
I am lucky to be able to wear multiple hats that include the roles of clinician, researcher, clinical trialist, patient advocate, and administrator. Needless to say these disparate roles cause endless scheduling difficulties but keep me rewardingly busy without burnout in any one concentrated area. I feel that the other roles actually make me a better physician as I am able to see the emerging ‘big picture” to the benefit of my patients. Helping lead the IGCS has been extremely rewarding as this responsibility is a mechanism to pay back to our field and move the field forward not only in the USA but throughout the world.