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Management of Breast Cancer Seminar Report - October 2013

Management of Breast Cancer Seminar Report

The BNR, in collaboration with the MoH and QEH, provided its second cancer seminar which allowed medical staff from both the private and public sector to either review or update their knowledge about the management of breast cancer and to discuss everyday issues related to palliative care. The seminar took place on 18 October 2013 at the QEH auditorium. The seminar was chaired by Dr Joy St John, CMO while Professor Patsy Prussia, BNR-Cancer Clinical Director, lead the panel discussion

There was a total of 60 participants overall, with both the public and private sectors being represented. Specifically, there were 36 private sector and 24 public sector physicians. A total of six BNR team members provided support for the seminar.

The seminar began with Mrs Tanya Martelly, the BNR Registrar, who discussed Cancer Surveillance in Barbados. She summarized the past and current available statistical instruments culminating in the start of the BNR-Cancer and an explanation of what a national surveillance system is, with an overview of the area covered by the BNR-Cancer since it is a population-based registry. After stating the updated case definition for the BNR-Cancer, Mrs Martelly informed those present of the preliminary data for 2008 which indicated that approximately 50% of the records retrieved thus far were eligible cancers. Specifically, there were 135 cases of cancer of the female breast.

The next presentation was entitled ‘Surgical Management of Breast Cancer’ by Mr ian Lweis, Surgeon. He gave a brief overview of breast cancer along with the immunohistochemical factors involved especially in relation to particular ethnicities.  Mr Lewis proceeded to touch on the international picture of breast cancer incidence. He then launched into the varying presentations of breast cancer along with diagnostic procedures followed with breast cancer.  After detailing the histological aspects of breast cancer, Mr Lewis concluded with the relevant surgical interventions.

Dr Suzanne Smith Connell a Consultant Oncologist/Radiation Oncologist, gave a presentation on non-surgical management of breast cancer. Attendees sought clarification on who should be referred for palliative care, which Dr Smith Connell pointed out was dependent on diagnosis. These queries were further discussed in the panel discussion which focussed on palliative care.

This seminar provided much information, provoked much discussion and highlighted the following areas: 1) Death Certification: there needs to be regular training on the accurate method to complete a death certificate; 2) Palliative Care: greater co-ordination between NGOs involved in this type of care and the community physicians especially needs to be increased through pamphlets or other means and 3) Upcoming Seminars: need to make it more interactive with greater emphasis on case studies as well as the provision of local cancer data.

We thank the presenters and panellists who gave of their time to provide an informative and thought-provoking for participants. We also thank the Ministry of Health and the Queen Elizabeth Hospital for their financial and technical support. 


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