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The Global Summit on International Breast Health, Following ASCO

Written by Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center on 31 March 2010.

The Breast Health Global Initiative (BHGI) and the Latin American & Caribbean Society of Medical Oncology (SLACOM) will convene the fourth biennial BHGI Global Summit on International Breast Health June 9-11, 2010 in Chicago, bringing together collaborating national and international organizations to address the optimization of breast health care delivery in limited-resource countries. The theme for the 2010 Summit is “Optimizing Health Care Delivery.” The Summit, endorsed by the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO), is scheduled to follow ASCO’s annual meeting in Chicago to allow for participation by attendees of the meeting.

The Summit will provide a unique event in the international health community to enhance knowledge of breast health care delivery in low- and middle-income countries (LMCs). It will bring together collaborating national and international organizations to address key issues regarding the optimization of breast delivery in limited resource countries. It will provide a forum to examine and report on the effectiveness of breast health care delivery in diverse socioeconomic settings and to address how existing health care resources can most effectively be organized to improve breast health outcomes.

The systematic analyses performed during this three-day Summit will be guided by the BHGI resource-sensitive comprehensive breast care guidelines for early detection, diagnosis and treatment (Cancer, Oct. 15, 2008 supplement). Case studies of successful programs from around the world will be presented. Special issues of Latin American countries will be highlighted, framed by the special needs survey performed by SLACOM and published with BHGI (Cancer, 113(8 suppl):2359-65, 2008). Model approaches to breast health care improvement will be developed during the three-day event.

Each day of the Summit will address different health care scenarios:

Day 1 - Low-resource scenarios in breast health care delivery where fundamental delivery resources are commonly fractionated or incomplete.
Day 2 - Middle-resource scenarios in breast health care delivery, where multidisciplinary treatment is more commonly available than in low-resource countries.
Day 3 - Problem-solving in health care delivery, considering how commonly encountered obstacles can be tackled in real-world applications in low- and middle-resource environments.

Meeting features include international breast cancer advocacy presentations, scientific presentations highlighting health care delivery and successful pilot projects, open panel discussions, parallel workshops, and poster presentations.

“The 2010 BHGI Summit will be a very important meeting that is relevant not only to low- and middle-income countries, but to all countries,” said Eduardo Cazap, M.D., president of SLACOM-Sociedad Latino Americana y del Caribe de Oncologia Medica, and president-elect of the UICC-International Union Against Cancer.

Issues applicable to optimal program implementation, education and training, communication and informatics, and medical technology will specifically be considered. The Summit will serve as the foundation for publication in a peer-reviewed medical journal of the major findings and observations generated during the meeting.

"The resource level available for optimizing health care delivery within a country or community is a critical component of implementation that has not been directly addressed by other health care guidelines," said Benjamin O. Anderson, M.D., chair and director of the BHGI.

The Breast Health Global Initiative (BHGI) is co-sponsored by Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center and Susan G. Komen for the Cure.

For information and meeting registration for the Global Summit on International Breast Health, go to www.bhgi.info, or email jchase@fhcrc.org

For sponsorship inquiries, organizations should contact Leslie Sullivan, BHGI senior program manager, at lsulliva@fhcrc.org or call 206-667-2545.

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