On October 15 2022, the 8th edition of the Dutch national breast cancer symposium will take place in Doorn in the Netherlands. This year’s theme is “zorg voor elkaar” which means “caring for each other” but it also relates to ensuring “quality of care for breast cancer patients”. Sabine Wernars and Saskia Koopmans, both patient advocates with Inspire2Live, have been organising the symposium since the first edition in 2015.
The moment you are diagnosed with breast cancer, there is a lot that changes. Not just for you, but also for the people around you. You need one type of care which is often provided by parents, family, friends, colleagues and/or a partner i.e. someone to look out for you, someone who supports you when you falter and who stands behind you when the going gets tough. That care is so important and then there is another type of care that you receive from healthcare providers. For many men and women, this is the first time they have been diagnosed with cancer and they don’t know what to expect. For some, it may already be the second or third time and, for others, they may even be hearing that they will unfortunately not get better.
How do the caregivers deal with your emotions and those of the people around you? The breast cancer experience does not go away after a couple of years. It often stays with you for a long time, due to lengthy treatment plans or the consequences of the treatment, and your needs will change over the years. Through this symposium programme we want to offer an interesting and relevant agenda for men and women who currently have, or have had, breast cancer together with the opportunity to meet others with a similar diagnosis.
There will be about 20 speakers and workshop leaders with us on October 15, looking at the topics of triple negative breast cancer, lobular breast cancer and metastatic breast cancer amongst others. This year we will be paying particular attention to young patients and the patient’s partner and family and, during each series of workshops, there will be room for round table discussions about cancer and work.
After two years of online events, we are really looking forward to meeting up in person again this year. And if the programme appeals to you, but you have another form of cancer, you are of course very welcome to join us!
Patient Advocate, Inspire2Live