For the Press

Top Cancer Surgeons Address Diagnosis Errors, Navigating Modern Cancer Treatment, and Quality of Care at National Meeting in San Antonio

Author: Curt Mattson
Feb 25, 2011

1,500 surgical oncologists meet to discuss issues facing their treatment of cancer patients

Arlington Heights, IL – 2011/2/25 – The Society of Surgical Oncology (SSO), a medical specialty society with members from 40 countries, will hold its 64th Annual Cancer Symposium in San Antonio, Texas, March 2-5, 2011. The meeting and exposition, which regularly draws more than 1,500 surgical oncologists, general surgeons, fellows-in-training, residents, and exhibitors, will be held at the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center and the Grand Hyatt San Antonio.

The meeting is the yearly conclave of the 2,500-member SSO and is a four-day gathering of physicians from major community and academic cancer centers around the world. During that week, these surgeons and researchers will diagnose the state of their profession, tackling subjects ranging from false breast cancer diagnoses to the necessity of specially trained “physician extenders” to help patients through the confusing maze of modern cancer care.

Presentations include debate sessions, symposia, scientific posters, and exhibit booths representing the major names in pharmaceutical and medical device manufacturers. SSO’s Scientific Program Chair, Thomas K. Weber, MD, Chief of Surgery, VA New York Harbor Health Care System, reports, “This year’s meeting includes a wide range of innovations … including focused overviews by invited speakers integrated into each of the parallel sessions; our first SSO tumor board, focusing on breast cancer; and major symposia addressing disparities in cancer care and the potential impact of health care reform legislation on the practice of surgical oncology.”

Though the society’s membership largely comes from academic and research-oriented health care institutions, the meeting begins with two workshops aimed at the community-based cancer surgeon. One will serve to update those surgeons on breast cancer, the other covers malignancies of the liver, pancreas, and gallbladder.

A symposium on a subject that has garnered major media coverage this past year will address diagnostic accuracy in DCIS (ductal carcinoma in situ), subtitled “National Crisis? Scientific Opportunity?” The Wednesday evening symposium will address the challenges and opportunities for improvement in the diagnosis and management of this form of breast cancer affecting 50,000 women a year. Presenters include surgeons and pathologists from University of California, Vanderbilt University Medical Center, and Washington University School of Medicine.

A second Wednesday evening symposium speaks to the increasing involvement of physician extenders such as nurse navigators in the ever more complicated interdisciplinary treatment of today’s cancer patient. Presenters from MD Anderson Cancer Center, Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, and Johns Hopkins address patient care from diagnosis to operating room to survivorship.

The meeting will also cover international developments in surgical oncology, both in the developing and developed world. Solid tumor care from Haiti to sub-Saharan Africa to India is on the agenda, along with accounts from Mexico, Europe, and Japan on clinical innovations in breast, gastric, and colorectal cancers.

Sixty-six companies will be exhibiting during the Annual Cancer Symposium this year—a 70 percent increase over last year. Among companies exhibiting novel diagnostic technologies, surgical devices, and treatment regimens, new organizations exhibiting this year will range from the US Army Medical Recruiting to Maserati North America.

The entire scientific program and the list of technical exhibitors can be found at the Society’s website under the “Meetings & Events” section.

Founded in 1940 as “The James Ewing Society,” the Society of Surgical Oncology (SSO) is a 2,500-member organization for surgeons and health care providers. The mission of the Society of Surgical Oncology is to improve patient care by advancing the science and practice of surgical oncology worldwide. The Society’s focus on all disease sites is reflected in its comprehensive Annual Cancer Symposium, monthly scientific journal (Annals of Surgical Oncology), special projects, and committee structure.

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