Cancer conference in Edinburgh leads the way towards better medical care

June 19, 2003

NOT FOR RELEASE BEFORE 18.00 BST, THURSDAY, 19 JUNE 2003

The international medical community is demonstrating its determination to serve cancer patients in the best possible way at a conference of Europe's leading society for medical oncologists. Edinburgh is hosting the European Society for Medical Oncology conference (19 - 22 June), which will bring together doctors, politicians, and patients with the aim of improving cancer care.

Opening the conference at the Edinburgh International Conference Centre, Mr Malcolm Chisholm, Minister of Health and Community Care said, "Cancer knows no boundaries - geographical or economic. It affects all of us at some point in our lives and no matter where we stay in the world, the issues we face in dealing with cancer are the same. I am delighted to welcome everyone to Scotland because we are all here, with a common aim, to share with and learn from each other how cancer and the causes of cancer are being tackled."

A major focus of the conference will be the 2nd patient seminar, a unique opportunity for doctors and patients to gain insight into each other's priorities and problems. In the true spirit of patient-physician partnership, issues such as living with cancer, clinical trials and communication will be addressed. Professor Heinz Ludwig, MD, president of ESMO said, "The meaning of our professional life is about providing the best care for our patients. We are learning to listen to their needs and expectations, their hopes and their fears - and by doing so we can become better doctors," he said.

There are few fields in clinical medicine that are expanding as rapidly as oncology and this conference provides a 'one-step educational experience' for cancer specialists covering conventional medical oncology as well as emerging fields like psycho-oncology and quality-of-life. During the conference, the newest advances in treatment of colorectal, lung and breast cancers and lymphomas, will be presented. "We live in an exciting world and we are seeing progress in understanding the disease and the development of new treatments. We share an optimism which we did not have a few years ago," concluded Professor Ludwig.
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For further information contact:

Edinburgh Press Office: Room Ochil
Tel ++44 (0)131 519 4131
Fax ++44 (0)131 519 4140

Opening times: Thursday, 19 June from 13.00-17.00
Friday, 20 June from 08.00-18.00
Saturday, 21 June from 08.00-19.00
Sunday, 22 June from 08.00-16.00

At other times, please contact:
Gracemarie Bricalli, ESMO Media Coordinator:
Tel. ++41 (0)91 973 19 11, Fax ++41 (0)91 973 19 12
Mobile ++41 (0)79 778 5177, gracemarie@esmo.org

Notes to Editors
About the European Society for Medical Oncology (ESMO)
ESMO believes that every cancer patient is entitled to the best possible treatment available. Since medicine is involved in every aspect of cancer therapy, cancer patients need to be treated by qualified medical oncologists. ESMO is the leading European Society that provides education and guidelines for medical oncologists to ensure optimal care for cancer patients. Its official scientific journal is Annals of Oncology. Since 1975, the Society has grown to include representatives from every European country and the six major geographical regions of the world. More information about the Society can be obtained at www.esmo.org.

The ESMO Summer Educational Conference (ESEC) takes place in Edinburgh, Scotland, UK - 19 - 22 June 2003.

European Society for Medical Oncology

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