8th ESMO Patient Seminar
New treatments and earlier diagnosis mean that cancer patients are surviving the disease in greater numbers and, thanks to targeted treatment, even living with cancer. This has many implications for research and public policy, which were discussed at 35th Congress of the European Society for Medical Oncology (ESMO) in Milan, Italy.
The 8th Patient Seminar, held within the 35th ESMO Congress, brought together representatives of patient groups and health professionals to discuss the needs of cancer patients and survivors. Cancer care today focuses mainly on biomedical treatment. However, cancer patients and survivors experience a range of psychological and social problems, which cause additional suffering. Patient associations are lobbying for appropriate psychosocial care to be provided, as well as state of the art treatment.
A press conference on the topic of “Long term rehabilitation: the body and beyond” took place on Sunday 10 October.
“The good news is that cancer today does not necessarily mean death,” said Prof. Francesco de Lorenzo, cancer patient, Professor of Biochemistry, President of the Italian Federation of Volunteer based Cancer Organizations (FAVO), and Chair of the 8th ESMO Patient Seminar. “The number of survivors grows continually, but this poses new challenges. These people want to go on to lead useful lives and have the best quality of life possible. Once treatment is completed, there are still physical side effects, but that is not all: long term rehabilitation needs to take into account social, psychological, sexual, nutritional and other factors.”