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2013 San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium (SABCS) /
Breast cancer psychosocial and survivorship issues: are we doing better?

9th - 11th Dec 2013

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Published: 19.12.13
Views: 3551

Dr Lesley Fallowfield - University of Sussex, Brighton, UK

Dr Fallowfield talks to ecancertv at SABCS 2013 about the psychosocial aspects of breast cancer care.

Extraordinary advances have been made in the past 3 decades in breast cancer treatment. More women have greater prospects of cure or lengthier, good quality survival.

Advances include:- improved diagnostic and staging procedures, sophisticated onco-plastic surgery, enhanced radiotherapy techniques and targeted systemic therapies. Much more attention has also been paid to cancer care delivery and access to specialist nurses, counsellors, support groups and services provided by breast cancer charities. It is questionable whether or not these considerable improvements in treatment delivery and outcomes have led to comparable, measurable changes in patients' psychosocial, functional and sexual well-being. 

Just as with the exciting advent of personalised and targeted medicine, we need similar endeavours producing more individualised psychosocial care; communication should be flexible, adapted to the varying needs of individuals, appropriate screening should enable resources, be that counselling, relaxation therapy, yoga, exercise or mindfulness training to be focussed on those at most risk of the unremitting psychosocial dysfunction that compromises healthy survivorship.

Spreading scarce supportive services thinly for all irrespective of their risk of poor adjustment, makes as much sense as administering hormone treatment or trastuzumab without information about receptor status.

Previous conferences: highlights

Founding partners

European Cancer Organisation European Institute of Oncology

Founding Charities

Foundazione Umberto Veronesi Fondazione IEO Swiss Bridge

Published by

ecancer Global Foundation