4th All-Ireland Cancer Conference

Today at the 4th All-Ireland Cancer Conference Professor David Clark from LancasterUniversity will inform delegates about the plans and progress relating to a proposed all-Ireland Institute for Hospice and Palliative care. The vision of the new Institute is to improve the experience and understanding of palliative and end of life care on the island of Ireland.

 Dr James Cleary from the University of Wisconsin will discuss the critical place of pain management in the provision of palliative care and the great variability in the availability of pain medication, with the need for better policies to support its use.

 Professor John Reynolds from Trinity College Dublin will follow with a talk on the multidisciplinary team (MDT) approach to improved cancer care. He will talk about the fact that some aspects of reform in the cancer care programme are controversial but the principle of MDT is unassailable. Dr Alastair Smith from Southampton General Hospital will describe how the MDT approach became standard practice in the UK as part of that Government’s Cancer Reform Strategy.

 Dr Ronald Barr from McMasterUniversity in Canada will talk about Adolescents and Young Adults with Cancer: A “Lost Tribe”. Research has shown that adolescents ages (15-19) and young adults (ages 20-29/39) all too often fall between the conventional paediatric and adult health care systems, becoming a “lost tribe”. Dr Barr will explain how devoting increased attention to adolescents and young adults with cancer will result in considerable gain in years of life saved.

 Other topics of interest will be Dr Les Robison (St Jude’s Hospital Memphis) on the long term outlook for childhood cancer survivors: Professor Mark Lawler (TCD) on the challenges and opportunities of molecular medicine: Dr Philip Larkin (UCD) asking “has palliative nursing lost its way?” and Amanda Black (National Cancer Institute) on screening for ovarian cancer.

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