Xiao-Cheng Wu, MD, MPH, CTR, Professor and LTR Director

Dr. Xiao-Cheng Wu leads LSU Health New Orleans School of Public Health’s Louisiana Tumor Registry (LTR). She has spent almost 30 years working with cancer statistics, both in cancer research, as well as the cancer incidence rates and survival data that guide cancer policy, research funding priorities, targeted interventions and education for the state of Louisiana and the United States of America. It is a hard and demanding job, but work that is crucial to saving lives by preventing or reducing cancer.

Dr. Wu, known affectionately as Wu around the School, was happily doing cancer research in the early 1990s. She analyzed statistical data on the differences between blacks’ and whites’ cancer survival for a study funded by the National Cancer Institute, among others. She thought she had found her niche, and it was cancer research – until cancer came knocking at her family’s door.  (read more)

Christina Lefante, MPH, CTR, LTR Registrar and Cancer Survivor

The first thing that went through Christina Lefante’s mind when she was told that she had Hodgkin Lymphoma was, “I think I’m going to die. I think that’s the first thing that would go through anyone’s mind. I had just turned 18. It was the end of my senior year of high school. It was the day before my senior prom.”

That diagnosis began a whirlwind of what Tina calls craziness — doctor’s appointments, six months of chemo every other week, and after a short break, a month of radiation every day. It also began her introduction to cancer statistics. Her father, a biostatistician, explained that a 95% 5-year survival rate meant that 95% of the people diagnosed with her type of cancer were alive five years later. When her world seemed to be blowing up, that reassuring statistic gave her some sorely needed perspective.  (read more)