Reports of recent Events

Breast Surgery International at the South-East Asia Breast Cancer Symposium 14-16 Jul 2017
Yangon, Myanmar

South East Asia comprises 11 countries, namely, Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore, Vietnam, Myanmar, Laos, Thailand, Philippines, Singapore, Brunei and Timor Leste. Except for Singapore and Brunei, the rest of the countries are low and middle-income countries. Except for Thailand and Malaysia, there is no universal health coverage in the other countries. Survival from breast cancer is poor, because of diagnosis in late stages and inadequate access to optimal treatment. Myanmar is a low income country with no universal healthcare. Mortality from breast cancer is among the highest in the region. Read more....

BSI at Breastanbul 2016
10-12 November 2016, Wyndham Grand, Istanbul, Turkey - REPORT

The BSI Mastery of Breast Surgery Course was held on 10 November 2016 and was chaired by Dr Bahadir Gulluoghu. There were more than 50 participants attending this course.  The  three speakers from BSI, Dr Cheng-Har Yip, Dr Kerstin Sandelin and Dr Omar Youssef, were joined by Dr Erkin Aribel, Dr Alexandru Blidaru, Dr Nilgun Kapucuoglu, Dr N Safer Canturk and Dr Dan Hershko, to provide three multidisciplinary educational sessions on 1. Decision-making and clinical reasoning in diagnosis 2. Professional perioperative behavior and attitudes and 3. Quality issues over post-operative care.
This was followed by the Opening Ceremony where Dr George Asimakapoulos gave an eulogy for Professor Umberto Veronesi who had passed away just 2 days ago, on 8th Nov 2016. 

The conference for the next 2 days, 11 and 12 Nov 2016, saw a series of lectures encompassing the whole spectrum of breast cancer care, from radiology, pathology, surgery (including oncoplastic breast surgery), medical oncology and radiation oncology.

See the program here.



Breast Surgery International Oncoplastic Breast Surgery Course 25 Sept 2016 - REPORT

The 1st Hong Kong Society of Breast Surgeon BSI Oncoplastic Breast Surgery Course was held in Hong Kong on 25 September. This meeting is the first conjoint meeting between Hong Kong Society of Breast Surgeon and Breast Surgery International, with the strong support from Kowloon East Cluster Breast Centre. The course director is Dr Sharon Chan, and course advisor is Dr Polly Cheung. Prof Tinna Jahkola, Prof Elisabeth Elder and Prof Omar Youssef were invited as BSI lecturers. Nine local faculties were also invited. The aim of the course is to highlight important issue and to share advance knowledge in oncoplastic breast surgery. 

Before the course, Prof Tina Jahkola attended Multidisciplinary meeting in Hong Kong Sanatorium Hospital on 24 September. The MDT consists of more than 10 breast surgeons and oncologists where 21 breast cancer cases management were discussed. All the lecturers joined the welcome dinner with fabulous Chinese cuisine.

On 25 September, the course started with welcome speech by Dr Sharon Chan and Opening speech by Dr Polly Cheung, It was followed by six lectures with topics chosen specific to address issues and challenges in oncoplastic breast surgery. It was followed by 5 video presentation and interactive session with 5 case discussion in the afternoon. The interactive session allowed active participation of audience, it also provided platform for surgeons to share experiences and grow collective knowledge. We have 150 participants for the course, 50 joined the interactive session. We received lots of positive feedback for the whole program, and all participants enjoyed the interactive session. After the whole day course, we had faculty dinner with western cuisine.

On 26 September, all lecturers visited the Kowloon East Cluster Breast Centre in United Christian Hospital. Kowloon East Cluster Breast Centre is the first government funded breast centre in Hong Kong, established by Dr Sharon Chan. The centre provides comprehensive breast services to breast cancer patients. Our lecturers were welcomed by the breast cancer survivors who hand-made Chinese handcrafts as souvenirs to our guests. After hospital tour, we had case assessment and discussion on three real breast cancer patients. After the visit, our guests and the organizing committee had celebration lunch together.

On 27 September, Prof Omar Youssef visited Hong Kong Sanatorium Hospital with Dr Sharon Chan. They observed Dr Polly Cheung's operation on mastectomy with implant reconstruction and contralateral breast augmentation. We had discussion and exchange of ideas on different issues in operating theatre.

Dr Sharon Chan
Course Director
BSI Oncoplastic Course
Hong Kong


4th Breast and Endocrine Surgery Course - Report
25-27 August 2016, Kota Baru, Malaysia

In May 2012, the College of Surgeons, Academy of Medicine Malaysia together with the Ministry of Health Malaysia signed an agreement with the International Association of Endocrine Surgeons (IAES) and Breast Surgery International (BSI) to hold five Breast and Endocrine Surgery Courses in Malaysia.

The 4th course was held in Kota Baru, Malaysia from 25th-27th August 2016. Dr Mikael Hartman and Dr Sharon Chan were the lecturers from BSI while Dr Mark Symark and Dr Ming Khoon Yew were the lecturers from IAES. The theme of the course was "Back to Basics" which catered to both general and specialist breast and endocrine surgeons. Since there are only less than 40 breast and endocrine surgeons registered with the Malaysian National Specialist Register, much of the breast and endocrine work in Malaysia is carried out by general surgeons. The organising chairman of this year's course is Dr Imi Sairi bin Ab Hadi, the head of the Breast and Endocrine Surgery Unit in the General Hospital Kota Baru, and the Advisor was Professor Dr Rohaizak Muhammad from the National University of Malaysia and the Co-Advisor was Dr Nor Aina Emran, the head of the Breast and Endocrine Surgery Services in the Ministry of Health.

Kota Baru is the capital of Kelantan which is in the north-eastern part of Malaysia, on the border with Thailand. It is an agrarian state, with lush paddy fields and rustic fishing villages. It has a mainly Malay and Muslim population of 1.7 million. A study on breast cancer in Kelantan between 2005-2007 showed that 56% of breast cancers were Staged 3 and 4. Late diagnosis is a serious problem in Kelantan, where women are more likely to go for traditional medicine than conventional western medicine.

The opening ceremony took place on 25th August 2016, and the course was opened by Dato' Dr Abdul Jamil bin Abdullah, the Head of Surgical Services in the Ministry of Health. 170 surgeons from all parts of Malaysia registered for the conference. At the Opening Ceremony, Dr CH Yip, President of the Breast Surgery International, gave a speech on the role of BSI and encourage breast surgeons to join the society, and to register for the World Congress of Surgery in Basel in August 2017. The opening ceremony was followed by the endocrine surgery session, which was for the whole day.

During the endocrine session, the BSI team was taken on a visit to Hospital Tanah Merah, which is an hour's drive from Kota Baru. The purpose of the visit was to introduce the two BSI lecturers, who are both from high income countries, to a hospital where resources are limited. This is a specialist district hospital, which have only two general surgeons serving a population of 200 000. This hospital functions at a low resource setting, and there is no mammogram or CT scan. Only xrays and ultrasound is available. Breast cancers are typically seen at an advanced stage. There is no pathologist in this hospital and tissue specimens are sent to the main hospital in Kota Baru. After a tour of the wards, clinics, operating theatres (there are only two operating theatres and they are in different locations) and emergency department, we were treated to lunch, and a further discussion on what problems were faced by the hospital. After returning to Kota Baru, we were again treated to a fabulous dinner of Kelantanese food.

The breast surgery session started on the next day, 26th August, and the two lecturers gave a total of 10 lectures, with cases presented by the breast and endocrine surgery fellows from Kota Baru, Penang and Kuala Lumpur. There was a lively discussion among the participants and it was clear that everyone had a good time.

Another sumptuous dinner was provided that night.

The next day on 27th August 2016 was the ultrasound workshop, held at the Hospital Raja Perempuan Zainab II, which consisted of 2 lectures followed by hands-on workshop on breast ultrasound using phantoms and live patients, as well as ultrasound guided biopsies and vacuum assisted excision biopsy. The workshop was for 40 delegates who were specialist breast and endocrine surgeons as well as the breast and endocrine fellowship trainees. The workshop ended with lunch.

CH Yip
President BSI

See the Pictures of the Meeting here


Breast Surgery International at the South-East Asia Breast Cancer Symposium
24-26 June 2016, Hue, Vietnam

South East Asia comprises 11 countries, namely, Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore, Vietnam, Myanmar, Laos, Thailand, Philippines, Singapore, Brunei and Timor Leste. Except for Singapore and Brunei, the rest of the countries are low and middle-income countries where there is no universal health coverage. Survival from breast cancer is poor, because of diagnosis in late stages and inadequate access to optimal treatment. The South East Asia Breast Cancer Symposium is co-organized by the Breast Cancer Society of Hue, the Breast Surgery International (BSI) and Global Focus on Cancer (GFC). GFC is a cancer advocacy organisation based in New York whose mission is to raise awareness, provide support, and create a global network of communication for cancer patients. The chair of the symposium is Associate Professor Nguyen Dinh Tung, President of the Breast Cancer Society of Hue, and co-chaired by Dr Cheng-Har Yip, President of BSI and Carolyn Taylor, President of GFC. International speakers at the 2016 SEABCS included Professor Gaurav Agarwal and Dr Tiina Jahkola from BSI, Dr Ophira Ginsburg from World Health Organisation (WHO), Professor Julie Gralow from the Washington School of Medicine, Dr Gabor Fischer from the University of Manitoba, and Dr Robert Warr from the United Kingdom. There were also speakers from Hong Kong and from most of the South East Asian countries, such as Singapore, Myanmar, Indonesia, Laos and Cambodia, as well as the host country, Vietnam. Altogether there were almost 300 delegates registered for the conference. The symposium started with a CME (Continuous Medical Education) workshop in the Hue Central Hospital on 24 Jun 2016, with lectures on various aspects of breast cancer, ranging from breast and oncoplastic breast surgery, pathology, radiology and systemic therapy. Simultaneous translation from English to Vietnamese was also available for the benefit of audience, which is predominantly non-English speaking. The second day, 25 Jun 16 was the main conference held at the Indochine Palace Hotel, where speakers from the region talked about breast cancer in their respective countries. Some of the highlights was a symposium on breast cancer genetic mutations and their treatment, as well as a symposium on oncoplastic breast surgery. New techniques such as the intraoperative radiotherapy were also discussed. The third day, 26 Jun 16 was devoted to breast supportive care, with representatives of support groups from Taiwan, Singapore, Malaysia and Myanmar talking about the challenges faced by support groups in their countries. In addition, advocacy groups like GFC and WECAN (represented by Allison Dvaladze and Julie Gralow from the University of Washington, Fred Hutchison Cancer Centre) conducted a roundtable discussion on the concepts, barriers and facilitators and organizational structure of advocacy.

Besides the scientific sessions, the hosts organised a dinner for the faculty at Ancient Hue, where the faculty was treated to Vietnamese cuisine as well as Vietnamese music. The conference gala dinner was an open-air buffet dinner with a sumptuous display of local and international cuisine, with music and entertainment.

The next South East Asia Breast Cancer Symposium will be held in Myanmar next year, and once again, BSI has been invited to be one of the co-chairs.

Dr Cheng-Har Yip
President BSI

See the pictures and program here