With cancer rates rising worldwide, oncologist shortage predicted


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Japanese Society of Medical Oncology(JSMO) is training and accrediting cancer pharmacotherapy specialists (experts of anti-cancer drugs).

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During the summer of 2007, I remember reading an article, maybe from The Daily Yomiuri, that the Japan Cancer Association (Japan's largest professional association connected with cancer research) would, from that year, require all presentations to be made in English in order to connect more with cancer research outside of Japan. I remembered that article because at the time I was an English Education professional, (Associate Professor of English Communication at Jissen Women's College), and had already spent more than a decade teaching public speaking and presentation skills to native speakers (Temple University Japan) and Japanese alike ... as well as a volunteer judge for E.S.S. All Japan English speech contests. As of this writing, I have been asked by Tokyo University to be a preliminary judge for their All Japan Todaihai three times now.

But during the winter of early 2008, I received an emergency message to fly home to North Carolina, as my father was on his death bed, dying of lung cancer. I will not go into the gruesome details of my arrival in the dead of a snowy mountain night, just hours before his death.

But I will say that after returning to Japan, I immediately offered my services to the JCA as a volunteer to help them with their presentations. Both my father and his second wife had died from lung cancer, and I figured this was the least I could do. From decades of professional experience, I knew a bit about the weaknesses Japanese are likely to encounter in giving an English presentation, and my undergraduate degree was in biology.

I had a brief meeting with one of the members of the board of directors, then a professor at Tokyo University ... and he said that although T.V. and sports personalities had offered money and the use of their face for advertising campaigns, the JCA had never received a volunteer donation of time to help them with presentations ... and they did not know what to do with me. I got the 'don't call us, we'll call you' spiel, and never heard from them again.

I see from their recent data, numbers are dropping.

Will not even bother hazard some guesses as to why this is so, but I understand they did not see any need for volunteers the likes of myself.

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