Global Summit on International Breast Health Targets Breast Health Improvements in Developing Countries, June 9-11, 2010, in Chicago

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The best minds in breast cancer screening and treatment worldwide will be collaborating to improve breast health care delivery in limited-resource countries at the fourth biennial Global Summit on International Breast Health. Convened by the Breast Health Global Initiative and the Latin American and Caribbean Society of Medical Oncology, the Global Summit for the first time has opened registration to all with an interest in improving breast health for women worldwide.

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.

More than 1.15 million new cases of breast cancer occur every year, but chances of survival vary dramatically depending on where the individual lives. The Breast Health Global Initiative (BHGI) and the Latin American and Caribbean Society of Medical Oncology (SLACOM) will convene the fourth biennial BHGI Global Summit on International Breast Health, June 9-11, 2010, in Chicago, to bring together collaborating national and international organizations to address the optimization of breast health care delivery in limited-resource countries.

Optimizing Health Care Delivery, the 2010 Summit is endorsed by the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) and 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). This is the first time in its history that the Summit is offering open registration to all interested parties. The Summit will focus on addressing 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 resources can most effectively be organized to improve outcomes.

Worldwide, breast cancer is the most frequently diagnosed cancer in women, responsible for 465,000 deaths in 2007.

The systematic analyses performed during the 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). Attendees will hear case studies of successful programs from around the world. Special issues of Latin American countries will be highlighted, framed by a special needs survey performed by SLACOM and published with BHGI (Cancer, Oct. 15, 2008 supplement). Model approaches to breast health care improvement will be developed during the event.

Each day of the Summit will address specific 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 common 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 specifically will 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., founder, chair and director of the BHGI, Full Member in the Division of Public Health Sciences at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center and Professor of Surgery and Joint Professor in the Department of Global Health at the University of Washington.

The Breast Health Global Initiative (BHGI) is co-sponsored by Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center and Susan G. Komen for the Cure®. Early registration discounts for the Global Summit on International Breast Health are available through May 8. For information and meeting registration, visit the Breast Health Global Initiative, or email jchase(at)fhcrc(dot)org. For sponsorship inquiries, organizations should contact Leslie Sullivan, BHGI senior program manager, at lsulliva(at)fhcrc(dot)org or call 206-667-2545.

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