Kao članica UO ED Srbije,Vesna Bondžić, predsednica Ženskog centra Milica je prisustvovala 14th Europa Donna Pan -European conference zajedno sa dr Stanislavom Otašević, nacionalnom predstavnicom i predsednicom ED Srbija, Jasminom Lukić, sekretarkom ED Srbija, i Radom Nikolić, članicom. Bila je čast biti u društvu jakih žena iz 47 zemalja Evrope i ponos da su u vrhu ove evropske organizacije tri žene sa prostora EX YU : Biba Dodeva -Borka S.Makedonija, Tanja Spanic ED Slovenija i dr Vesna Ramljak ED Hrvatska. U borbi sa rakom dojke Balkan je ujedinjen i ima svoje mesto u ovoj priči.
EUROPA DONNA – The European Breast Cancer Coalition celebrated 25 years of breast cancer advocacy with more than 200 advocates from 44 countries at its 14th Pan-European Conference held in Vienna on 26-27 October. Advocates celebrated the progress made over the years and focused on the priorities for the future: achieving equal access to high-quality services for early and metastatic breast cancer (MBC) that adhere to European guidelines across Europe, giving increased attention to survivorship, return to work issues, and people with high genetic risk.
Alberto Costa, MD, CEO of European School of Oncology and Editor of Cancerworld who was instrumental in the founding of EUROPA DONNA, described the formation of the organisation and its early years. EUROPA DONNA CEO Susan Knox then presented highlights of programmes implemented over the years. She concluded by saying: “Our strength continues to be that we are a European advocacy organisation with an extensive network of survivors and members in our 47 countries — all working towards the same goals. Together we have made a significant impact on European Institutions and have brought about improvement in breast services across many countries.”
This was followed by presentations updating advocates about EU Guidelines, treatment of early and advanced breast cancer, genetic risk, surgery and surgical standards, imaging, work after breast cancer and survivorship:
Annett Roi from the European Commission’s Joint Research Centre spoke about the European Commission Initiative on Breast Cancer (ECIBC), and announced that 60 of the latest recommendations from the European Breast Guidelines went live on the new ECIBC website on 24 October (www.ecibc.org). EUROPA DONNA is a stakeholder in this initiative, which covers the entire pathway of breast cancer care, from screening through treatment, quality assurance and after care, and is raising awareness of it across its member countries.
Etienne Brain, a medical oncologist from Hospital René Huguenin, Institute Curie in France, described current treatments and research for early and advanced breast cancer. He emphasised the need for clinical studies that include older women (ie, older than 65 years).
Christian Singer, Professor of Clinical-Translational Gynaecological Oncology and Head of the Centre for Breast Health at the Medical University of Vienna, Austria, gave an overview of genetic mutations that increase the risk for breast and ovarian cancer. He covered strategies to reduce risk of cancer or recurrence, including regular monitoring, surgical or pharmacological approaches.
Isabel Rubio, Surgical Oncologist, Director of the Breast Surgical Unit at Clínica Universidad de Navarra in Madrid, Spain, described the state of the art of breast surgery and the importance of certification for breast surgeons to address the variability in breast surgery training across Europe. She described the BRESO Breast Cancer Surgery Certification project for breast surgery certification that was founded in 2019. EUROPA DONNA is a co-founder of this project with six other European organisations.
Pascal Baltzer, Associate Professor of Radiology, Medical University of Vienna, described the latest techniques in breast imaging, particularly for difficult-to-detect tumours in dense breast tissue.
Barbara Wilson, Founder and Director of Working with Cancer in the UK covered “Work after breast cancer” and stressed the need to support women in their return to work, managing expectations and educating employers. She emphasised that a return to work is a process rather than an event, and that coaching has proved successful in facilitating this process.
Richard Crevenna, Head of the Department of Physical Medicine, Rehabilitation and Occupational Medicine at the Medical University of Vienna, covered oncological rehabilitation and techniques that can help address the short and long-term side effects of breast cancer and its treatment. Regular exercise can increase strength, flexibility, endurance and sensorimotor function, and help alleviate lymphoedema and neuropathy, among other adverse effects.
Advocates were then able to discuss the individual and country-specific issues in workshops on these topics (ie, survivorship strategies, return to work, high genetic risk and ECIBC implementation), as well as on issues for women with MBC, and for young women with breast cancer.
On Saturday evening, advocates attended a gala dinner at the Vienna City Hall where they were welcomed by Mrs. Marina Hanke, a delegate for the Mayor and responsible for the women’s agenda in the city of Vienna.
On the second day of the conference, there was an overview of EUROPA DONNA’s successful breast cancer prevention campaign, Breast Health Day, and presentations from ED Fora from Denmark and North Macedonia on their current activities. The conference ended with a celebratory 25-year song and a photo exhibition of ED’s advocacy work for the last 25 years.
Mona Elzayat, President of EUROPA DONNA, said, “The EUROPA DONNA Pan-European Conference is unique in that it is the only conference dedicated primarily to breast cancer advocates and survivors. It was a pleasure and a privilege to welcome so many hard-working advocates to Vienna for our conference and our 25-year celebration.”