Yesterday, the 3rd BIGOSA conference was held in Cape Town.  It was well attended with delegates from throughout Southern Africa.

Rro Dr Sylvia Heywang-Kobrunner and
Prof Apffelstaedt
The invited guest speaker was Prof. Dr. Sylvia Heywang-Kobrunner from Munich.  She gave 2 talks: one presented the case for routine mammography screening in Germany and the second talk dealt with the confusing and controversial issue of intermediate lesions found on screening mammography.

The rest of the speakers were from South Africa.  The topic for Dr Judy Whittaker's talk was "Traditional prognostic indicators vs molecular prognostic indicators"  This is a huge subject.  Traditionally, the management of breast cancer has been based on what the tumour looks like microscopically (the grade and the presence of tumour cells in surrounding vessels), the size, the involvement of lymph node and the ER and PR sensitivity.  However, there are many tests available that look at the genetics of the tumour. In time, they may take over from traditional pathology.  Dr Karen Fieggen gave an excellent talk on the impact of Angelina Jolie discussing her decision to have a bilateral mastectomy.  Time will tell whether she has changed the overall pattern of practice.

After the tea break, we had a second talk from Prof Dr Heywang-Kobrunner.  She was followed by
Dr Shane Barker who gave a
Dr Ines Buccimazza and Dr Shane Barker
comprehensive overview of the surgical techniques used by plastic surgeons to re create a nipple after a mastectomy.  He was followed by Dr Rika Pienaar who discussed the management of the side effects of endocrine therapy used to treat breast cancer.  Many women give up taking their cancer drugs because of the side effects.  The onset of menopausal symptoms can be overwhelming.  Her bottom line was that women should be encouraged to exercise, lose weight and modify their diet. Dr Voster gave a presentation on how women with bony metastatses should be managed.

Ann Steyn standing with Dr Baatjes in front of the BIGOSA banner

At the end of the morning, Ann Steyn gave a 15 minute talk on the role of advocacy in developing countries.  It is the first time a breast cancer survivor has been invited to address BIGOSA and I hope she will be the first of many. As always, she gave a succinct presentation outlining the work being done by ABC and the enormous amount that still needs to be done.

The afternoon was spent discussion the management of breast cancer in low income countries and I will write a second blog about that.

Every year, a prize is given by Mrs Stathoulis for the best free paper.  This year's winner was Dr Ettienne Myburgh.  We said good bye and thanks to our president-Prof Apffelstaedt and our secretary Dr Karin Baatjes.  We welcomed out new president-Dr Ines Buccimazza and our new secretary Dr Chas Chacala.
Dr Ettienne Myburgh

Next year's conference will be held in Durban.

No comments:

Post a Comment