The European Cancer Organisation (ECCO) was founded on the ideas of the former Federation of European Cancer Societies (FECS). The ECCO was officially announced at the European Cancer Conference in Barcelona in September 2007, replacing the FECS as a dynamic new entity. Through its members, the ECCO represents the interests of over 50,000 professionals in oncology. The ECCO continues to expand its outreach and education through its prestigious biennial series of Congresses. This report highlights the nursing contributions at the seventeenth ECCO Congress in Amsterdam.
At the congress, there were more than 17,000 professionals involved in the struggle against cancer. A record number of abstracts (3306) were submitted, almost 40% more than the 2011 conference. Related topics during nursing sessions were often aimed at investigating the meaning of the multidisciplinary approach and what it implies for daily practice under different profiles. The debates showed that the multidisciplinary approach primarily means ‘new challenges’ for all the practitioners involved. The main challenge for nurses is to meet the needs of a rapidly changing society with some European peculiarities, such as the ageing population, the escalating costs of healthcare in a period of economic crises, fast changing treatments, changes in cancer services and the way nurses deliver care, and multidisciplinary empowerment as a modern concept of care. In this landscape, we also have to consider that cancer often becomes a chronic disease with an increasing number of treatment lines, an increasing number of survivors, and more conscious and exigent patients. We also have to consider the importance of diversity in cancer care.