Summit on Breast Health and Cancer Control Concludes in Vienna

The 5th Global Summit on International Breast Health: Guidelines for International Breast Health and Cancer ControlSupportive Care and Quality of Life concluded Friday, 5 October in Vienna, Austria.

Convened jointly by the Breast Health Global Initiative (BHGI) and the IAEA’s Programme of Action for Cancer Therapy (PACT), it brought together leading global experts in breast cancer, palliative care, hospice and patient advocacy.

Discussions during the three-day meeting covered areas related to supportive care and quality of life issues for breast cancer patients in developing countries, including the role of radiation medicine in palliative care. Additionally, issues specific to survivorship and follow-up care, treatment-related supportive care and end-of-life and palliative care for women in low- and middle-income (LMI) countries were also discussed.

The summit, which also marked the 10-year anniversary of the founding of the BHGI, opened with overviews by representatives from the World Health Organization (WHO) and the IAEA’s Nuclear Medicine Section.

In his opening address, PACT’s Acting Section Head, Rolando Camacho Rodriguez, said, “The IAEA’s aim is to ensure that radiation medicine is integrated within national cancer control programmes to ensure sustainability and effectiveness of treatment. Therefore, partnership to cover all areas of expertise is crucial for the IAEA.”

Cancer diagnosis and treatment have been an important focus area of the IAEA for decades, and cancer-related services have been growing in importance for the Agency’s Member States. Today, some 25% of all technical cooperation projects focus on cancer diagnosis, treatment and related activities, to the sum of more than $15 million annually.

In his statement to the recently-held General Conference, IAEA Director General Amano reaffirmed the importance the Agency puts on cancer control and prevention.

“Cancer in developing countries is high on the IAEA’s agenda. It is also my passion,” he said. “I plan to strengthen our Programme of Action for Cancer Therapy (PACT).”

A major goal of the Summit will be to the first consensus, evidence-based, Supportive Care and Quality of Life guidelines to be published in 2013.

These guidelines will provide important insights on how people could live better with cancer and cancer treatment in many parts of the world.

 
by Lizette Kilian, IAEA Division of Public Information
 

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