Unicorn Foundation NET Nurse Kate Wakelin attended the 2nd Victorian Cancer Survivorship Conference in February 2018. Read Kate's reflections on this informative event below....
Earlier in February I had the opportunity to attend the 2nd
Victorian Cancer Survivorship Conference at The Walter and Eliza Hall Institute
This was preceded by a day of networking with other not-for-profit
organisations who provide services to cancer survivors. This day was a
brilliant opportunity to showcase services, explore common issues and identify
opportunities for collaboration. Many valuable connections were also made over
The conference itself provided a fast-paced series of
presentations over the two days, with a diverse range of national and
international speakers. One of the things that was particularly encouraging was
discussion around how the term “survivorship” has evolved particularly in terms
of its approach to people who are having ongoing management for metastatic
cancers and those who are living with their illness as a chronic condition –
something obviously very relevant to people affected by NETs.
One of the major areas of focus was in the use of
survivorship care plans (SCPs). This was very timely for us as an organisation,
as we have been collaborating with the Australian Cancer Survivorship Centre in
developing a NET specific SCP, so it will be very useful to draw on this
current research as we move ahead with this project.
It was also fantastic to see NETs represented, both in the
oral presentations, with Dr David Wyld (QLD) providing great insights in his
presentation: “How the rare see their care: perceptions of care and patient reported outcomes in people living with
neuroendocrine tumours. Exploration of perceptions of care and patient reported
outcomes for people with NETs”, and Dr Gabrielle Cehic presenting some of the
current impressive international collaborative work that is being done in her
poster: “The challenges of designing and implementing a structured,
international multicentre audit on health-related quality of life (HRQOL) and
markers of response in patients with neuroendocrine neoplasms (NEN) treated
with peptide receptor radionuclide therapy (PRRT)”.
As always, the official content of these events is only part
of the equation, with much of the value being in the interactions that take
place during the informal program. It was fantastic to catch up with colleagues
I already knew, as well as to meet new faces and explore ideas and approaches
to challenges. I emerged feeling inspired and energised, looking forward to
continuing the work the Unicorn Foundation are doing in this space.