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Dr. Linda Van Le in UNC Health’s Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology presented and served as a moderator at theDr. Linda Van Le portrait Consortium of Universities for Global Health’s annual conference in Los Angeles this month. The theme of the conference was “Global Health Without Borders.”

One of Dr. Van Le’s two presentations was on eliminating cervical cancer as a public health problem. Cervical cancer is the fourth most common cancer in women globally. The World Health Assembly adopted global strategy to accelerate the elimination of cervical cancer as a public health problem in 2020. Dr. Van Le discussed ways to eliminate cervical cancer, including HPV vaccination, improving screening and treatment of precancers, and improving access to cancer treatment. Addressing inequalities among cervical cancer patients is an important step to eliminate cervical cancer.

Dr. Van Le also spoke about the need for surgeons to treat cancers worldwide. 90% of surgeons provide services for high income counties leaving only 10% to care for people living in low and low middle-income countries. 93% of women living in Africa who needed gyn cancer surgery could not access safe surgery. To improve access and build capacity, more surgeons need to be trained to care for these patients. One program dedicated to this endeavor is the International Gynecologic Cancer Society (IGCS), which trains gyn cancer surgeons at 22 global sites in Vietnam, Nepal, Kenya, Jamaica, Haiti, Ethiopia. To date, IGCS has trained 40 new gynecologic oncologists who have performed over 11,000 additional gyn cancer surgical procedures worldwide.

Dr. Linda Van Le is the Leonard Palumbo Distinguished Professor in the Division of Gyn Oncology at UNC Chapel Hill School of Medicine, and is a member of Lineberger Cancer Center. She takes care of a broad variety of gynecologic cancers including vulvar, endometrial, ovarian, and cervical cancer. She offers surgery, chemotherapy, and collaborates with radiation oncologists at UNC Health to develop a comprehensive treatment plan for each patient. She is a NRG/Gynecologic Oncology Group Principal Investigator for clinical trials, and an editor for Te Linde’s Operative Gynecology, 13th Edition. She is also an international mentor for the International Gynecologic Cancer Society’s gyn oncology training fellowship in Da Nang, Vietnam.

About the Consortium of Universities for Global Health
The CUGH is a rapidly growing Washington, DC based organization of over 190 academic institutions and other organizations from around the world engaged in addressing global health challenges. CUGH supports academic institutions and partners to improve the wellbeing of people and the planet through education, research, service, and advocacy.