5 December 2002
Breast cancer: fears and future progress
The Royal Society of Medicine's Key Advances in Breast Cancer meeting takes place on 10 December. Speakers will share the latest thinking on treatments, diagnosis and research, and assess the real risk of cancer faced by women in the UK:
to tell which medical scare stories to believe and which to
Professor David Purdie, York Medical School, - Breast cancer and HRT
Does a glass of wine a day really raise the risk of getting cancer? Should women change their behaviour because of a report they read in the paper? According to Professor Purdie, the recent reporting of research on breast cancer and alcohol was "unacceptably misleading". He will give practical advice on how to assess risk, how to tell when reports are really worth worrying about and when the print and broadcast media are "mainlining on relative risks rather than absolutes."
breast cancer diagnosis could be like in 2010
Dr Rosalind Given-Wilson, St George's Hospital, London - Up to date imaging
New technologies are coming up in the near future that will transform the way doctors screen for and manage breast cancer, says Dr Given-Wilson. She will talk about the potential offered by digital technology and computer aided mammography, and explain what a difference it will make for women compared with the kinds of diagnosis and treatment offered twenty years ago.
studies: the very young, the very scared, the family history
Dr Joseph Spitzer, GP, London, - a breast lump in the surgery
When you find a lump in your breast, the first person you ask for medical advice is your GP. It is very important that GPs avoid being dismissive, warns Dr Spitzer: "to the patient, any lump is cancer until proven otherwise". He will be discussing his own case studies, including a patient who was only 22 when she got cancer, a mother whose worries for her teenage daughter were coloured by her own experience of mastectomy, and an independent, intelligent woman in her thirties who delayed seeing her GP out of sheer fear.