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Global Summit on International Breast Health To Open in Vienna

Supportive Care and Quality of Life Issues Top Agenda Items

BHGI

Published guidelines resulting from the summit will shed light on clinically critical health care arena involving supportive care and quality of life issues for women in developing countries who suffer from breast cancer and help determine what could help them live better with cancer and its treatments. (Photo: D. Sacchetti/IAEA)

The Breast Health Global Initiative (BHGI) and the IAEA, through its Programme of Action for Cancer Therapy (PACT), are jointly organizing the 5th Global Summit on International Breast Health and Cancer Control which opens in Vienna on 3 October 2012.

The Summit will bring together national and international organizations, leading experts, NGOs and representatives from the private sector. The participants will discuss supportive care and quality of life issues for breast cancer patients in developing countries. The aim of the summit is to analyze and ultimately develop the first guidelines for Supportive Care and Quality of Life for low- and middle-income (LMI)Member States.

Registration for the Summit is now open; interested parties can sign up at the Breast Health Global Initiative Website.

Global Summit Agenda

The BHGI Global Summit will result in the publication of the first consensus- and evidence-based quality of life guidelines serving as essential medical tools. Participants will address the topic of quality of life through presentations, discussions, workshops and professional networking.

Relatively little research has focused on key supportive care and quality of life issues for women suffering from breast cancer in developing countries. One reason for this is because supportive care and quality of life issues are more difficult to measure than are standard statistics such as longevity, survival time and mortality rates.

The Global Summit aims to provide a setting where "mixed method" (quantitative and qualitative) implementation research is explored in focused scientific fashion. BHGI and IAEA PACT hope that the published guidelines resulting from the Summit will open up a largely unexplored but clinically critical health care arena, and help determine what helps people live better with cancer and its treatments.

Mr. Massoud Samiei, Director of PACT, highlighted the importance of the topic discussed. "Addressing the areas of supportive care and quality of life in patient care is critical, especially in limited resource scenarios where comprehensive treatment is not fully available," he said.

"We have not only a need, but an obligation to address this critical care issue. We are honoured to be holding the Summit in conjunction with the IAEA's PACT under the auspices of the UN," said Dr. Ben Anderson, Founder, Chair and Director of the Breast Health Global Initiative.

Background

The Programme of Action for Cancer Therapy (PACT) is an IAEA initiative that helps LMI Member States in their efforts to tackle the growing cancer crisis, by raising cancer awareness, assessing needs and mobilizing resources. PACT builds on the IAEA's expertise in radiation medicine, to help countries develop sustainable and comprehensive cancer control programmes integrating radiation medicine.

IAEA and BHGI have been working together since 2010 to address the growing number of breast cancer deaths occurring in Africa through collaboration, notably PACT's new Virtual University for Cancer Control (VUCCnet) initiative. The two organizations work to expand their efforts to support governments' initiatives to control breast cancer in Asia and other developing countries.

-- By Iulia Iliut and Aleksandra Leszczynska, IAEA Division of Public Information

(Note to Media: We encourage you to republish these stories and kindly request attribution to the IAEA).