Bringing Two Worlds Together: Oncology and Geriatrics

SIOGKwok Leung Cheung is a Clinical Associate Professor at the University of Nottingham and Honorary Consultant Breast Surgeon at Derby Hospitals. In this blog, he discusses his ongoing work in geriatric oncology.

The 14th Conference of the International Society of Geriatric Oncology (SIOG) was held in October 2014 in Lisbon, celebrating SIOG’s mission by bringing together multidisciplinary experts in cancer and ageing via its annual conference theme, ‘Bringing Two Worlds Together: Oncology and Geriatrics’.  For more than a decade, geriatric oncology has been emerging across the globe as a discipline aiming to improve the care for older adults with cancer.  The majority of cancers occur in the older population which is also rapidly expanding.  Attention should now be paid not just to cancer biology and treatments, but also the holistic needs of the older population, which have been well known to you all in the field of geriatrics.  Unfortunately, involvement of geriatricians in the care of cancer patients remains patchy in the world.  In the UK, oncology practice remains predominantly tumour site based with little focussed interest in geriatric oncology.  The use of geriatric assessments and involvement of geriatricians in the multidisciplinary team management of cancer patients are almost unheard of.

As the UK National Representative of SIOG, I would like to work with you as the UK specialty association in geriatrics to enhance the link between these two ‘worlds’ in the UK.  Furthermore, it would be extremely helpful if SIOG has a stronger membership from the discipline of geriatrics so please consider joining the society, which will allow you to exchange ideas and further the mission with an international effort.  Please visit www.siog.org for details.

Alongside the above mission, I have a personal vision to optimise the care of older women with primary breast cancer, given my subspecialty interest as a breast surgeon.  To that end, I am hosting, on behalf of the University of Nottingham, under the auspices of SIOG, the Third Symposium on Primary Breast Cancer in Older Women on 6th March 2015 at East Midlands Conference Centre.  Dr Etienne Brain, SIOG’s President, will be part of the faculty.  For abstract submission, registration and further details, please visit www.nottingham.ac.uk/medicine/breastmeetings

I look forward to working with you!  If you have any queries or ideas that you would like to discuss, please contact me via kl.cheung@nottingham.ac.uk

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