Genesis of the “Breast Surgery International”


Why form an integrated breast section within ISS/SIC?


The International Society of Surgery ISS/SIC with a long proud history celebrated its Centenary in 2002. It functions very successfully as an umbrella organisation for its dedicated members who have formed the Integrated Societies, each of which has special interests in a particular field of surgery. However, the balance between surgical subspecialisation and general surgery as a single concept has been an issue of many debates. The International Surgical Week (World Congress of Surgery) attracts surgeons world wide that come together and share experiences and report on their progressive work. Although there have been some excellent symposia and free paper sessions in the past on breast surgery, there is a need for something of its own. It became apparent that in order to give breast surgery a higher profile and encourage surgical commitment, an integrated society within ISS/SIC should be established. Preparations were made and with the efforts of an international group of surgeons, many of whom were to be elected as officers and council members, the BSI was born in Vienna 1999. It was extremely appropriate, but by serendipity, that the Grey Turner Lecture was held by BSI’s first president, Umberto Veronesi. Delegates from 38 nations became founding members at the inaugural proceedings.


A society can only progress with active support and participation from its members. Breast surgery is performed by a large group of surgeons. Breast cancer is a complex disease where the input of multidisciplinary care is often mandatory. It also became very clear from participants in Vienna that the spectrum of disease pattern is so wide across the world that developing countries need to be specifically addressed. BSI has taken notice of this. During the International Surgical Week in Durban in August 2005 a symposium dedicated to breast care in developing countries is held.


BSI has a number of commitments to fulfill. One is to make each Surgical Week attractive and comprehensive for the attendees. Other important moves are to establish collegiality, facilitate exchange of ideas on a formal and informal basis during the meetings and at the time of social and other special events. Therefore, an international faculty is set up for members to use as contact with whom to exchange ideas and to be given possibilities to visit special institutions and learn about breast surgery. Already a substantial group of members have accepted to become part of that faculty. By linking to ISS/SIC home page we can reach our members more readily and reduce unnecessary costs. Education for young surgeons with a focused interest on breast is another important issue where BSI hopes to establish scholarships to promote interchange of knowledge. Only by continuing support from the members can this society move forward and achieve its goals. Every surgeon with interest and experience in breast surgery is welcome to apply for membership in BSI!


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From the secretary and the council coordinator of BSI.


Kerstin Sandelin
Founder Secretary, BSI

Peter Malycha
Former Council Co-ordinator, BSI