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World Cancer Day Sydney celebrates researchers and cancer survivors

World Cancer Day in Sydney promised to be a day with a difference and it sure delivered.

Hosted by UNSW Medicine and the Cancer Clinical Academic Group of Maridulu Budyari Gumal (SPHERE), in partnership with CONCERT and the Translational Cancer Research Network (TCRN), the World Cancer day events on 4th February  brought together researchers, academics, clinicians, industry and investors, as well as cancer survivors to raise awareness of the excellent work being doing in cancer research.

The day was a smorgasbord of events starting with a breakfast and networking session. Attendees networked and listened to short presentations from speakers including CONCERT Chair, Michael Barton and inspirational cancer carer, Nasreen Kaadan, who worked tirelessly in 2019 (running, cycling and walking every day as well as baking) to raise money for lung cancer research.

Following breakfast, a group of cancer survivors, together with advocates and carers, climbed Sydney’s Harbour Bridge: this very act symbolising the strength of survivors in overcoming their cancer.

The second event of the day “Research in Partnership” held at the Opera House provided a fascinating overview of the current research being taken in the cancer field. Central to all the presentations was the importance of having cancer patients at the forefront of research.

Professor Afaf Girgis, who leads the Psycho-Oncology Group at the Ingham Institute, talked about the importance of person-centred care to improve the safety, quality and cost-effectiveness of the care provided to cancer patients.

“The patient’s voice is absolutely central to providing a person-centred approach,” explains Prof. Girgis.

Other speakers including CONCERT’s Deputy Director, Ben Smith, echoed the importance of including cancer patients in research.

Indeed, the event showed that collaboration occurs, not just in partnership with researchers and clinicians, but with cancer patients and survivors who are at the centre of all research into this disease.

By Linda Music

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