Cancer :: An opportunity for patients to learn and talk about cancer

People affected by cancer in Switzerland and northern Italy have an opportunity during the ESMO Congress Lugano to talk about the latest in cancer research and share their knowledge and personal experiences, at the 6th ESMO Patient Seminar.

An important theme of the seminar, which will be held Saturday, 7 July, is open communication.

?Communication is one of the best weapons we have against cancer,? said Prof. Michele Ghielmini, the chair of the ESMO Patient Seminar Task Force. ?That means communication between doctor and patient, communication between patients and their families and between patients themselves,? he said.

?It is particularly vital that patients feel they can talk openly with their doctors about treatment choices and other issues,? Prof. Ghielmini noted. ?It?s so important that patients are involved in their treatment choices,? he said. ?Patients should not be afraid to question their doctors.?

At the Patient Seminar, attendees will be able to take part in a session that focuses on the right questions to ask your doctor. Another session offers tips on how to use the Internet effectively. ?It is essential that patients become better informed about their condition,? Prof. Ghielmini said.

People who attend the Patient Seminar will also have an opportunity to hear about the latest treatments and state-of-the-art knowledge on major forms of cancer.

?ESMO is encouraging the family members and loved-ones of cancer patients to attend the conference,? Prof. Ghielmini said. ?It?s for everyone. If family members become more involved then some of the frightening misconceptions about cancer can be dispelled.?

?Cancer is obviously a serious condition, but we want it to become a disease that doesn?t cause quite as much fear any more,? he said. ?The best way to do that is by talking about it.?

?The Patient Seminar is part of the European Society for Medical Oncology?s mission to promote access to the best possible cancer care,? said the Society?s President Professor Hakan Mellstedt. It is also a reflection of ESMO?s commitment to the Lugano region.

?ESMO is determined to raise the benchmark in the quality of cancer care. To this end, our Society is working on multiple fronts to help assure patients receive the best levels of care possible,? Professor Mellstedt said.

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