In June, I was fortunate to be able to attend the Cancer
Nurses Society of Australia annual congress, in Brisbane. This year the
conference theme was science, symptoms, and service delivery, with an impressive
line-up of national and international speakers.
One of the things I really value about attending this
conference as a cancer nurse, is that it brings a huge opportunity for
professional learning, and this conference certainly provided this in spades.
One of the highlights was seeing the topic of financial toxicity addressed
head-on, with Professor Dorothy Keefe presenting her plenary talk “It’s not an
endless pot: The financial toxicity of scientific advances in cancer
treatments” on the first day. This was followed by a fascinating panel
discussion, featuring Associate Professor Louisa Gordon, who is one of the
research team in our own current financial toxicity study (a reminder to anyone
who hasn’t completed this study yet – please see Financial Impact Study)
This year, more than ever, our Unicorn Foundation booth was
crowded with cancer nurses from all around Australia, wanting booklets, and
more information about NETs (our Nutrition and NETs booklets ran out before the
end of morning tea on day 1!) We also had scores of nurses sign up to our
Health Professionals Network, which is a fantastic way of providing them with
ongoing information and education about NETs.
I was also very happy to present two posters, in
collaboration with Nicole Kinnane from the Australian Cancer Survivorship
Centre, on survivorship care in NETs.
Whilst I was in Queensland, it was also fantastic to meet up
with our Brisbane support group, as well as meet with a number of people on the
Gold Coast, who are keen to start a new support group there (please contact me
if you would like to be linked in with this group). I also managed to meet with
several health care professionals, including staff from the Cancer Council and
the Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital (popping into the Nuclear Medicine
department on my way past to say hi to some of our patients having treatment!)
All in all, this was a very busy and successful trip, and I
was very grateful for the opportunity to attend!