Breast Surgery International is dedicated and committed to the advancement of the science and art of breast surgery and maintenance of high standards in practice of breast surgery. An area of emphasis for the society is towards developing quality breast cancer care in low and middle income countries. To achieve this mission, BSI takes part in breast courses in different parts of the developing world.  This year, BSI was involved in the SGPGI Breast Course  in Lucknow in February 2016, and plans to hold a course in Hue, Vietnam in June 2016.  Together with the IAES, BSI will run a Breast and Endocrine Course in Kota Baru, Malaysia in August 2016.  BSI will also take part in the Annual ASAP Meeting in Mombasa in Dec 2016, and has been invited to run a BSI Course at the Breastanbul meeting in Nov 2016 in Turkey.  

Below is the report of the SGPGI Breast Course in Lucknow.

The SGPGI Breast Course 2016

The SGPGI (Sanjay Gandhi Postgraduate Institute) Breast Course-2016 was held at SGPGIMS (Sanjay Gandhi Postgraduate Institute of Medical Sciences)  Lucknow, India on 13th-14th February 2016. The course was organized by Department of Endocrine & Breast Surgery, SGPGIMS, under auspices of SGPGI Breast Health Program & Association of Surgeons of India (UP Chapter).  The Organising Chairman was Professor Gaurav Agarwal, who is in the BSI Council, and the Organising Secretary and Course Convener was Dr Sabaretnam M. The Breast Surgery International co-sanctioned this course, and supported it by facilitating participation of two overseas BSI guest faculty, namely Dr Jean-Francois Boileau from  Montreal Canada from and Dr Owen Ung, Secretary BSI from Brisbane Australia. In addition, BSI was represented by Dr Mikael Hartman from NUHS Singapore, and a large number of BSI members from India. The course faculty included, besides BSI guest faculty, overseas experts including Mr Rishikesh Parameshwar from UHMB Lancaster UK  and a galaxy of eminent Indian breast surgeons, radiation oncologists, medical oncologists, radiologists, pathologists and other allied specialists. The course was  well attended by  85 faculty and 271 delegates  from various parts of the country. Altogether, 18 Indian states and two union territories were represented by the delegates. In addition, 3 overseas delegates from United Kingdom and Bangladesh participated in the course.

The forenoon session on first day of the course was devoted to the course workshops on "Breast Radiotherapy Planning Practicum", "Mastology Refresher for Non Mastologists" and "Venous access and chemoports in breast cancer patients", which were very popular. Simultaneously, the Breast Pathology symposium was held in the forenoon of 13th February. A wide spectrum of breast pathology related issues including model breast cancer pathology reporting, ER, PR and HER neu testing protocols and uniform reporting, as well as pathological evaluation of the sentinel lymph nodes were discussed by expert pathologists and surgeons, and attended by about 110 delegates. It was followed by a hands-on F.I.S.H. workshop participated by 32 pathologists. In the afternoon session, breast cancer evaluation, breast imaging and pathology of breast cancer were discussed, followed by debate on Pathologic diagnosis of breast cancer- FNAC vs Core Biopsy, and Mini symposium on breast cancer genetics. Lectures on breast conservation in EBC, Oncoplastic breast surgery and Management of axilla in EBC were received with great interest by the audience. Tumour Board discussion involving three cases with a panel of breast surgeons, medical oncologist, radiation oncologist, radiologist and pathologist was well received. Twenty free posters were presented by young surgeons and radiation oncologists. The 5 best posters were chosen for presentation in the competition paper session, and the three best were awarded.

The second day of SGPGI Breast Course started with sessions on Free Video/ paper and poster discussion. The session on "large and locally advanced breast cancer" including tumour board style discussion and session on "critical issues in breast cancer management and follow up" focused on contentious issues in management of breast cancer in limited resource environment. The session on "advanced and metastatic breast cancer" threw light on supportive and palliative care and also limited role of surgery in such cases.

A breast quiz for post-graduates was keenly contested by 50 participants, and the best three performers were awarded prizes. There was an interactive quiz in which all delegates participated. The last session of course included seven breast surgery master videos.

In order to encourage participation of young surgeons and oncologists, the course organizers offered "Travel Grants" to seven of those who had their abstracts accepted for presentation at the course. Course participants were given a e-questionnaire to rate the scientific contents and provide feedback. Majority of participants found the scientific contents of excellent quality. Some of them have provided the feedback that the time for discussion may have been less. Some surgical residents and practicing surgeons have expressed the need for hands-on surgical training sessions- something that seems impractical for such short course.

The contributions of the BSI guest faculty were widely appreciated by participants for their quality and relevance to the local practice. The course also provided a great opportunity to the faculty and participants to make new friends and renew old friendships. The social evening- "Shaam-e-Awadh" which provided a glimpse of the "Lucknawi Tehzeeb"- culture, and the famed Oudhi "Music" and "Zaika"- culinary delights was enjoyed and appreciated by one and all.

The course organizers are thankful to the BSI, and the BSI guest faculty, and hope the society would continue this support to our future courses as well.

Sabaretnam M
        Organizing secretary                                               
Course convener
Gaurav Agarwal
Organizing Chairman
Course Director