First European Cancer Patient Seminar

September 08, 2002

This release is also available in French (Français), German (Deutsche), Italian (Italiano), and Spanish (Español)

ESMO, the European Society for Medical Oncology invites patients to the first patient and family seminar, on 18 October 2002, in Nice, France, on the occasion of the 27th ESMO Congress.

ESMO, the European professional organisation representing medical oncologists, has decided to step forward and reorient its mission towards patients. In order to achieve this goal, ESMO has decided to organise the first European Patient Seminar, which will be held on 18 October 2002, during the 27th ESMO Congress, in Nice. ESMO expects over 6,000 oncology specialists to attend the Congress.

Why take such a significant initiative?

One of ESMO's important missions is to disseminate knowledge to cancer patients and the public, in its attempt to improve the quality of diagnosis, treatment, and follow-up care of patients with malignant diseases. Empowering patients through education allows them to become real partners with their oncologists, and thus better control their situation by making informed decisions. One of the first steps of this initiative was to draw up a list of important questions that a patient should ask during his/her first appointment with a physician following diagnosis. By using this list of questions patients will ensure that their relationship with a physician is based on the sharing of information.

Breaking the stigma of being a cancer patient fosters cooperation with professional oncology healthcare providers to tailor treatments to meet individual needs, ensuring a better outcome of treatment, less personal anxiety, and better overall quality of life.

Publicly acknowledging its commitment to patients' rights to authoritative information, the Association of European Cancer Leagues (ECL) is supporting this ESMO initiative, and President Lilly Christensen will Co-Chair the Patient Seminar.

Why attend the first European Patient Seminar?

ESMO is confident that participation in the European Patient Seminar will personally benefit patients and patients' family members.

Globalisation has brought information about cancer to our doorsteps. Understanding and evaluating cancer therapies requires the expertise of qualified oncologists. Every aspect of cancer treatment requires specialised knowledge about the effect and interaction of anticancer drugs. ESMO's continuing medical educational program keeps medical oncologists up-to-date on the latest and most effective cancer treatments, to support its belief that every cancer patient has the right to receive the best possible treatment available.

At this seminar international cancer specialists will provide patients with authoritative information based on scientific study. There will be an opportunity to hear about the latest new treatments for cancer, and to benefit as other patients share their experiences. Time will also be devoted to explaining strategies intended to make patients' lives more fulfilling.

The Patient Seminar and its various sessions will allow ample time for discussion. Although presented in English, ESMO will provide simultaneous translations in French, German, Italian, and any other language represented by a significant number of participants.

For patients who would otherwise have financial difficulty attending the seminar, ESMO is offering a limited number of travel grants to cover accommodation and travel expenses. To apply for an ESMO travel grant, participants should simply mark the appropriate section on the registration form.

Patients desiring to receive a registration form or to learn more about the first European Patient Seminar, are kindly asked to visit the ESMO Web site:, or contact:

ESMO Congress Secretariat
Via La Santa 7
CH-6962 Viganello-Lugano, Switzerland
(Fax: 41-91-973-1918)

About ESMO

In 1975, Professor Georges Mathé founded the "Société de Médecine Interne Cancérologique" (Society of Medical Oncology), in order to unite doctors and researchers and to promote the speciality of medical oncology, which was not recognised at that time.

In 1980, due to the rapid increase in the number of European and international members, the Society decided to change its name to the "European Society for Medical Oncology" (ESMO).

ESMO was established in Europe with the purpose of advancing the art, science and practice of medical oncology and disseminating knowledge, in order to maintain a high common standard in medical practice for cancer patients.

The special aims of the Society are to:Over the years, ESMO meetings have played an important role in the continuous professional education of cancer specialists and the exchange of the latest scientific news in oncology, a field where knowledge is exploding and experts have to find their way through a plethora of new information that is continuously arriving in clinics and labs. Therefore ESMO conferences offer an update and sound evaluation of recent developments in the field of oncology.

In 2002, ESMO decided to organise the first European Patient Seminar, which will be held on 18 October 2002, during the 27th ESMO Congress, in Nice.

Press contact

For more information, or for the organisation of an interview with a patient or a speaker, please contact :

Gracemarie Bricalli
ESMO Media Coordinator
The European Society for Medical Oncology
Via La Santa 7
CH-6962 Viganello-Lugano
Tel. 41-91-973-1911
Fax 41-91-973-1912

European Society for Medical Oncology

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