The 12th EUROPA DONNA Pan European Conference was held in Paris over the weekend of 17th to 18th of October. This year’s conference focused on Time for Action on Equal Access and described the essential breast services that women should receive Europe wide. Europa Donna Ireland had four attendees at this lively event. There were a number of excellent speakers covering topics such as ‘The European Commission perspective on access to high quality breast cancer services in Europe’ and ‘National Cancer Plans’ discussing the Cancer Plan 2014-2019 and how the EU is funding projects such as the European Code against Cancer and the EU Joint Research Centre.
Also of importance was the topic of personalized medicine and advances in screening tools such as 3D mammography and liquid biopsies. A discussion on survivorship and how best to follow up patients post treatment highlighted the need for personalised holistic care and a written ‘Plan for Future Care’ incorporating a summary of all treatment given thereby empowering the patient and providing a level of comfort upon leaving the hospital environment. In the case of recurrence there should also be a rapid-access strategy in place for patients needing to re-engage with their medical team. New trends in treating metastatic breast cancer through the manipulation of protein receptors gives a new perspective in how treatments for resistant disease are being developed. Europa Donna Ireland will be engaging with the Irish government through its various health committees to ensure that these new treatments can be included in the National Cancer Strategy so Irish women and men can avail of the latest developments in clinical trials and cancer care.