Global Health Working Group Webinar Series: Latest Research on Cancer Prevention & Control in Asia

The Asia-Pacific is home to about 60% of the world’s population and accounts for about 50% of the total global cancer incidence. Cancer is a common cause of morbidity and mortality in low-, middle- and high-incomes alike. In fact, cancer has received increasing attention in the Asia-Pacific region as the region has experienced demographic changes associated with ageing populations, urbanization and economic growth. The resulting changes have led to a high prevalence of unhealthy risk factors, such as increased tobacco and alcohol use, unhealthy diets, and more sedentary lifestyles. Health systems in Asia-Pacific countries may not be equipped to deal with rapidly increasing burden of cancer. Experts from China, Hong Kong, Vietnam and Malaysia will present their latest research on cancer prevention and control.

Date & Time

August 29 from 5:30-7:00 pm (PDT)/ August 30 from 7:30 – 9:00 am (Hanoi); 8:30-10:00 am (HK & KL time).

Find out the recording here.

  • Martin Wong (The Chinese University of Hong Kong)
  • Nur Aishah Mohd Taib (Universiti Malaya)
  • Wang Hong Xu (Fudan University)
  • Tùng Phạm Thanh (Hanoi Medical College)


  • Mellissa Withers (University of Southern California)
  • Edmar Elcarte (University of the Philippines)
Nur Aishah Taib
Professor of the Department of Surgery, Universiti Malaya

Title: Barriers to Breast Cancer Screening in Jnder-served Populations in Malaysia


Prof Nur Aishah Taib (Taib NA, Mohd Taib NA) is a senior consultant breast surgeon and professor of the Department of Surgery at University Malaya since 2012. She is currently Head, UM Cancer Research Institute (2019-present). Her areas of interest are strongly correlated with patient care and outcomes. Prof Nur Aishah is a trainer for Master of Surgery in Malaysia and is on the board of examiners for the exit viva for the Breast and Endocrine Surgery Subspecialty Exams in Malaysia. She also a member of the National Committee for Breast and Endocrine Surgery Specialist Evaluation, Malaysian Medical Council and Chairperson and founder member of the Breast Chapter of the College of Surgeons of Malaysia (2015-2018). She is a Fellow of the Malaysian Academy of Medicine since 2016 and past Honorary Treasurer and Council Member of the College of Surgeons of Malaysia (2015-2019). She is the local lead in the Greater Petaling City Cancer Challenge, which supports cities around the world as they work to improve access to equitable, quality cancer careShe is also active in quality improvement projects in her hospital, University Malaya Medical Centre (UMMC), where she is the Chairperson of the UMMC Cancer Registry Core Committee (2020-2022) that oversees 20 Cancer Units in UMMC to develop point-of-care reporting of cancers using in-house electronic medical records that are linked to the National Cancer Registry. Past projects include developing a sustainable video-based breast care nurse-led health education program for newly diagnosed breast cancer patients, improving surgical site infections in patients undergoing mastectomy, developing patient decision aids for risk management of BRCA carriers and developing point of care data electronic medical records capture for breast cancer research database. She has 192 publications in peer-reviewed journals.

Wanghong Xu
Professor of School of Public Health, Fudan University
Title: Lung Cancer Over-diagnosis in China: Evidence at a Population Level Based on Cancer Surveillance Data
Wanghong Xu, MD, Ph.D, is Professor of Epidemiology, School of Public Health, Fudan University. She graduated from the Shanghai Medical University in 1993 with a bachelor degree of Preventive Medicine, and from Fudan University in 2001 with a Master degree in Epidemiology and Biostatistics. She obtained her PhD degree in Epidemiology from Fudan University in 2008. Dr. Xu has more than 20-year experience in epidemiological research on cancer and other NCDs. She has participated in several large-scale international cooperative projects, and led a number of research projects funded by NIH, NSFC, CMB, MOH, and local government of Shanghai. Dr. Xu has published more than 130 peer-reviewed manuscripts, and listed as the first or corresponding author in 60 of the papers.
Tùng Phạm Thanh
Lecturer and Researcher, Hanoi Medical University
TitleBurden of Cancer in Vietnam and Control Efforts
Tung Pham, MD, MPH, is a lecturer and researcher at Hanoi Medical University, the leading medical university in Vietnam, and a third-year Ph.D. student in Cancer Epidemiology and Prevention at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. During the MPH training at Johns Hopkins, his focus was global cancer epidemiology and prevention. After returning to Vietnam, he worked as a research associate at the Center for Population Health Science (CPHS) at Hanoi University of Public Health and a faculty member at Hanoi Medical University (HMU). He participated in several initiatives, including serving as a task force member for the MD program curriculum reform at HMU, leading a collaborative effort to examine students’ mental health status among eight universities in Vietnam, and conducting chronic diseases and cancer-related studies. Together with other alumni from Johns Hopkins and Harvard, Tung also leads the effort to create the Research Advancement Consortium in Health (REACH), a project funded by the US Department of States aimed to improve medical research capacity in Vietnam. His current research interests include developing a cancer prevention strategy system in low resource settings, gene-environment interaction and cancer risk, mental health, and medical education.
Martin C. S. Wong
Professor at The Chinese University of Hong Kong
Title: Recent Research on Colorectal Cancer Screening
Martin C. S. Wong is a specialist in Family Medicine and a researcher on cancer screening and prevention of chronic diseases. Professor Wong has composed over 300 publications in international peer-reviewed journals, and received over 15 research awards, including the prestigious “1st Distinguished Research Making Family Medicine Shine Award” by the World Organization of Family Doctors in 2018. He is Co-Chairman of the Grant Review Board, Health and Medical Research Fund, Food and Health Bureau (FHB); the Convener of the Advisory Group on Hong Kong Reference Framework for Care of Diabetes and Hypertension in Primary Care Settings; a member of the Expert Advisory Panel in Implementation Science of the HKSAR government, and a member of the Research Council of the FHB. He has been selected for the “Master Teacher” and the “Annual Teacher of the Year Award” for seven years. In 2016, he was conferred as an Honorary Fellow by the Hong Kong Academy of Nursing to recognize his achievements. He was appointed as the Editor-in-Chief of the Hong Kong Academy of Medicine in 2017. He is an Adjunct Professor of Peking Union Medical College; and Adjunct Professor of Global Health by Peking University.
Mellissa Withers (Moderator)
Associate Professor at the Keck School of Medicine, University of Southern California

Mellissa Withers, PhD, MHSis Associate Professor at the Keck School of Medicine in the Department of Population and Public Health Sciences. She is based at the University of Southern California Institute on Inequalities in Global Health. She is director of the Online MPH Program. Dr Withers is also Director of the Global Health Program of the Association of Pacific Rim Universities, a non-profit network of 55 universities. She received a PhD from the Department of Community Health Sciences at the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health with a minor in cultural anthropology. She also holds a Master’s in International Health from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and a BA in international development from UC Berkeley. Her research interests lie in community participatory research, mental health, gender-based violence, immigrant health, and global sexual and reproductive health. Dr Withers is the editor of two books: Global Perspectives on Sexual and Reproductive Health Across the Lifecourse, and Global Health Leadership: Case Studies from the Asia-Pacific (in press).

Edmar Elcarte (Moderator)
Licensed Professional Teacher, University of the Philippines
Edmar Elcarte is a registered nurse, a certified nephrology nurse, a licensed professional teacher, a trained diabetes educator, a palliative and hospice care advocate, research mentor, and educator. With his more than 8 years of nursing practice, he has experience in the clinical, hospital management, health research, project management, and nursing education. Edmar is an international chapter member of Asia Pacific Hospice and Palliative Care Network (APHRN) Singapore, Sigma Nursing, and Western Pacific Palliative Care Advocacy Network (WPPCAN). He also served as a technical consultant for Department of Health in the development of Palliative and Hospice Care Training Manual and Manual of Operations.

Dr. Mellissa Withers at [email protected].