South and East Mediterranean College of Oncology (SEMCO) is a non governmental and non profit initiative that aims at the enhancement of Professional and public education in all fields of cancer and relevant researches in the region of South and East Mediterranean.
Behind SEMCO is the successful experience of "ICEDOC's Experts in Cancer without Borders"(www.icedoc.org) in many parts of the world. We believe that any regional scientific and medical activities should rise from the region itself. The role of SEMCO executives is to serve colleagues in the region and to enhance collaboration and cooperation with different regional and international organizations and societies. We are currently engaged in successive preparations of scientific events in collaboration with distinguished organizations in the world. We adopt the same principals of ICEDOC that we are not competitors, but we are collaborators. Our work is based on hand – in - hand cooperation.
There will be also satellite meetings for the advisors of SEMCO and personalities from international and regional organizations.
Our objective is to discuss how we can cooperate well together against cancer in the South and East Mediterranean region.
eCancer published video for Prof. Ahmed Elzawawy in the series of visionary World Cancer Leaders arranged by Prof. Eduardo Cazap, past president of UICC, a president of SLACOM and a leader in ASCO and ESMO
The upcoming lectures and coarses will be mostly online webinar because of COVID-19 Pandemic
With the increasing costs of novel drugs, amidst the growing breast cancer rate, it can be safely assumed that in the next decade, newly developed cancer drugs will become less affordable and therefore will be available to fewer patients in low and middle income countries.
SEMCO is a nongovernmental and nonprofit initiative that aims to enhance professional and public education in all fields of cancer and build capacities for relevant research in the South and East Mediterranean region.
SEMCO is affiliated to the Egyptian Foundation for Cancer Research (EFCR)
SEMCO was founded in collaboration with the International Campaign for the Establishment and Development of Oncology Centres (ICEDOC) (www.icedoc.org)
SEMCO adopts the three "Cs" of ICEDOC, that welcome Cooperation, Collaboration and Coordination with all local, regional and international organizations and cancer societies.
The South and East Mediterranean region extends from Turkey to Morocco and Mauritania. It lies at the centre of many regions and contains mixed characteristics that are reflected in cancer control and training as well. The region has ties to Europe as it is practically its southern and eastern neighbor. It is also a part of Africa and Asia through a border with Turkey. National incomes vary from high-income, small populations like the Emirates and Qatar to bigger, low-income, countries with variations from low-middle income countries like Egypt to high-middle income countries like Lebanon1. The variation in cancer management facilities and opportunities for training, research or even the types and profile of presentations of early or advanced cancer cases are not necessarily parallel to the level of income. Cancer of cervix is not among the most common cancer in Egypt (low-middle country), while stage III and IV cases of cervix cancer constitute a common problem in Saudi Arabia and the Gulf region (high-income countries). Breast cancer constitutes the most commonest cancer among women across the whole region. Hepatocellular carcinoma attributed as a sequel to hepatitis C is one of the national cancer problems in Egypt3. This requires more intensified efforts in professional and public education, prevention and early detection that allows, until now, the only chance of successful management of this serious disease in Egypt.
Most professional cancer care providers and consultants either have been trained according to Euro-American curricula in their countries or in neighbouring countries. Medical education is mostly in English or French, but some have Arabic or a mixed English and Turkish medical education. Some have been trained or qualified in Western Europe, particularly the UK or France or in the USA. However, in general, English is understood by most physicians, but still Francophone, Arabophone and Turkish languages or mixed languages need to be taken into account in training or educational courses particularly for nursing.
Many professional cancer consultants and university staff already have links to or memberships of international bodies and attend at least one of the conferences or educational courses of the international, European, US or local organizations and cancer societies. However,
there is a lack of coordination locally, regionally and internationally; a lack of training in multidisciplinary balanced approaches to different aspects of cancer control that fits real regional conditions and as well as a lack of capacity building for relevant research and clinical trials as the region could be a considerable international contributor to cancer research.
Behind SEMCO is the successful experience of ICEDOC's "Experts in Cancer Without Borders" in many parts of the world. Hence, SEMCO adopts ICEDOC's three "Cs": Cooperation, Collaboration and Coordination. The role of SEMCO is not to compete, but to cooperate.