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Cancer professor travels far to help patients

Professor Nguyen Chan Hung, one of Vietnam’s leading oncology experts, has been retired for almost 20 years. At the age of 75, he is still passionate about his work.

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Professor Nguyen Chan Hung (second from right) examines a patient. — Photo courtesy of Professor Hung


For the professor, stopping his daily hospital visits does not mean giving up on cancer patients.

The retired doctor still visits villages and towns, including those in remote and disadvantaged areas, to offer training for local doctors and residents.

He chooses to talk to them in a simple and direct way so that they can understand more about the disease and how to prevent it.

“Without knowledge, they are scared of cancer,” he said.

“There needs to be someone who helps raise awareness about cancer to give them hope.

“Many people lack knowledge on cancer and how it is treated. Doctors like me must travel and give people this information.”

After 37 years working at HCM City’s Oncology Hospital, Hung is well known for developing cancer treatment therapies that save thousands of lives.

As the hospital director from 1990 to 2007, Hung helped develop the hospital into one of Vietnam’s leading medical facilities applying advanced technology in cancer treatment.

Since 2010, Hung has been the chairman of the Viet Nam Cancer Society and invited cancer experts nationwide to speak at workshops.

He hopes knowledge will spread among the community so that people are no longer haunted by the fear of cancer.

He never says no when he is invited to disadvantaged areas.

“I think it is not a hardship but experience.”

“Traveling is also a way to learn and keep myself up to date,” he said.

Sharing knowledge that he has accumulated for almost 50 years is also a way to make him happy.

Hung was the first person in Vietnam to translate and write a book about cancer. It has been used as a textbook at HCM City’s University of Medicine and Pharmacy.

So far he has written ten medical books.

The passionate professor is continuing his job as a lecturer for doctors, nurses and medical research students at Pham Ngoc Thach University and Medicine and HCM City’s University of Medicine and Pharmacy.

He thinks he is doing the job of a seed grower, like a teacher who helps his students grow in terms of knowledge.

“Looking back at what I have done, I feel happy because of my humble contribution to the community,” he said.



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