Welcome from the IPOS President
Dear Friends and Colleagues,
On behalf of the International Psycho-Oncology Society (IPOS) it is my pleasure to welcome you to the 19th World Congress of Psycho-Oncology and Psychosocial Academy, which will be held in Berlin, Germany, August 14-18th. The congress theme “Cancer throughout the Lifespan – addressing the psychosocial needs of diverse populations” will focus on particularly exciting developments in psychosocial oncology as it relates to education, research, clinical practice and policy from cancer prevention to end of life care. This Congress is an opportunity for professionals working in cancer services to share and learn about cutting-edge research and best practices in the field of Psycho-oncology. We welcome delegates from all over the globe to come together to collaborate, share and learn.
As well, our IPOS Psychosocial Academy held as part of our congress provides the opportunity to improve clinical and scientific skills and advance our knowledge in specific psychosocial domains. We are specifically pleased that there will be many scientific events, particularly for early career researchers and young scientists.
IPOS continues to advocate for the adoption of our Standard of Quality in Cancer Care and Clinical Practice Guidelines which state: (i) Psychosocial cancer care should be recognized as a universal human right; (ii) Quality cancer care must integrate the psychosocial domain into routine care; (iii) Distress should be measured as the sixth vital sign. As your IPOS President, I am proud to say, that to date, over 75 organizations and societies worldwide have endorsed our IPOS standards.
By coming together we help further our effort towards ensuring psychosocial cancer care is recognized as a universal human right. This conference draws psychosocial oncology world leaders together; leaders like yourself who are passionate and committed to advancing psycho-oncology research, building capacity for cancer support services and ensure the highest levels of standardized clinical practice care. Please take this opportunity to build your networks so we can support your efforts.
As a society we are committed to fostering integration and implementation of psychosocial care globally. To further IPOS educational and training efforts particularly in developing regions and countries, we are proud to have been re-appointed to continue our official relations with the WHO. Also IPOS has just become a member of the European Cancer Organization (ECCO), which places us in the center of the discussion of best practices and policies in Europe along with main societies and organizations. However, much work still needs to be done to ensure we continue to facilitate the development of strong, sustainable psycho-oncology programs around the world. I encourage you to get involved by joining our Societies, Committees, Special Interest Groups and Task Forces. Together our efforts are improving the quality of life for those affected by cancer.
With my deepest gratitude and best wishes,
Welcome from the German Federal Minister of Health
Each year, almost 500,000 persons in our country are told that they have cancer. This is a disease that can strike anyone: adults, young people and children.
For the individual patient, the devastating cancer diagnosis, alongside the fears that it evokes, means an exhausting course of treatment to fight the disease. For health policy, 500,000 new cases a year means that must persevere in our efforts to find the best possible care for persons with cancer.
One important foundation for improving the treatment of such patients even further is the National Cancer Plan. The National Cancer Plan was initiated by the German Cancer Society, German Cancer Aid and the Joint Working Group of German Tumour Centres, jointly with the Federal Ministry of Health, in 2008. With the National Cancer Plan, we work towards further developing early detection measures for cancer and towards achieving long-term improvements in care for cancer patients. The clinical cancer registries, in particular, supply a great deal of information on the diagnosis, treatment and clinical course of cancer in patients, thereby creating the foundation for further improvements in cancer care.
Alongside good forms of treatment, people who have to come to terms with the diagnosis of cancer also need very personal support. It is not only the physical strain that makes it difficult for them to cope; the emotional strain is just as great. The possibility of having access to psycho-oncological or psychosocial counselling and care is therefore of inestimable value both for the affected person and his/her relatives. Indeed, it is through such opportunities that they discover the kinds of support available to them. They receive information on the services and assistance available nearby or, if necessary, even further afield.
In addition, the persons responsible for providing psycho-oncological and psychosocial counselling advise relatives on healthcare issues, for example, in cases where a return to working life is an option or where palliative care is unavoidable.
The 19th World Congress of Psycho-Oncology – that is being held for the second time in Germany – around the theme "Cancer throughout the Lifespan – Addressing the psychosocial needs of diverse populations” will be looking into the high significance that psychosocial care has for persons who have to live with cancer.
This Congress therefore contributes to ensuring that psycho-oncological and psychosocial counselling continues to advance at a qualitatively high standard. I wish you, the participants of this year's World Congress of Psycho-Oncology, stimulating talks and interesting discussions and, in every respect, a successful event.
Welcome from the Secretary-General German Cancer Society
Dear colleagues, ladies and gentlemen,
Cancer patients are confronted with a multitude of burdens – the diagnosis may mark an important turning point in the patient’s life, associated with the loss of normality, a radical change in life and career planning. Feelings of fear, uncertainty, anger, stress and anxiety can be the result. According to international studies, about one third of all cancer patients suffer from psychological stress; 40 percent are struggling with social problems, such as financial constraints or obstacles when trying to get back to work. Thus, psychosocial care, in addition to high-quality medical care, makes a significant contribution to a better quality of life of cancer patients.
The German Cancer Society has a long-standing commitment to the integration of psycho-oncology into routine cancer care. In our certified cancer centers, access to psychosocial care is an important criterion of quality. Together with the German Working Community for Psychosocial Oncology (dapo) and the Psycho-Oncology Workgroup (PSO) within our organization, we have developed criteria for continuing education in psycho-oncology. Moreover, the cancer societies, which are active under the umbrella of the German Cancer Society in all 16 German federal states, conduct more than 61,000 psychosocial consultations with cancer patients and their relatives annually.
The need for psychosocial care is great and it will continue to rise. In the course of our work, we have learned that it is important to provide targeted offerings to meet the needs of different groups of patients. Young cancer patients may have other concerns than older ones, patients with metastatic cancer and their caregivers ask other questions than those who have just finished primary therapy. I am therefore very happy that this year’s meeting takes up and discusses the psychosocial needs of diverse populations. I wish you an informative meeting, many stimulating discussions and a pleasant stay in Berlin.
Dr. Johannes Bruns
Secretary-General German Cancer Society