Opinion

London Global Cancer Week set to discuss effects of COVID-19 pandemic on treatment and research

The event, taking place on 15-20 November, will discuss the challenges posed by the rising worldwide incidence of cancer

London Global Cancer Week, taking place on 15-20 November, will discuss the challenges posed by the rising worldwide incidence of cancer

A 3D illustration of cancer cells Picture: iStock

The global impact of COVID-19 has made clear that we must increasingly tackle health issues with an international rather than a national or local perspective. This is true for cancer, now the second leading cause of death globally. From 15-20 November there will be a series of coordinated international discussions and events under the umbrella title London Global Cancer Week .

The aim is to provide a 360 picture of the effect of the rising global incidence of cancer, the challenges

London Global Cancer Week, taking place on 15-20 November, will discuss the challenges posed by the rising worldwide incidence of cancer

A 3D illustration of cancer cells Picture: iStock

The global impact of COVID-19 has made clear that we must increasingly tackle health issues with an international rather than a national or local perspective. This is true for cancer, now the second leading cause of death globally.
From 15-20 November there will be a series of coordinated international discussions and events under the umbrella title London Global Cancer Week.

The aim is to provide a 360° picture of the effect of the rising global incidence of cancer, the challenges this poses, and the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on cancer treatment and research.

It will also include a consideration of the UK’s contribution to strengthening capacity in cancer prevention and cancer control in emerging countries.

Innovation often has its roots in the need to solve problems within restraints

The RCN cancer and breast care forum has been working with colleagues from other organisations to dedicate one day of London Global Cancer Week to cancer nursing. We have called this event The Global Power of Oncology Nursing and it will be held online on 17 November from 9:30am to 3:30pm. It will be free of charge to register and we’d love you to join us.

The theme of the day is how we can learn from each other – in particular how economically advanced countries can learn from those that are developing and emerging. It will remind us that not all good practice relies on money and that innovation often has its roots in the need to solve problems within restraints.

During the planning it has been good to observe that the core values and skills of nursing remain the same around the world. All nurses have a passion to increase and impart knowledge.

Our passion to understand and feel empathy transcends time as well as geography

We also have a passion not only to understand and feel empathy, but also to show it. This approach to our work transcends time as well as geography, as Florence Nightingale attested to, all those years ago. It is pertinent and poignant that her principles lie at the heart of our response to COVID-19, and remain embedded in cancer nursing practice today.

The Global Power of Oncology Nursing event will no doubt impart knowledge but I hope that new understanding will emerge too. And as nurses we will come together in compassion and caring for each other. Many of us have worked through the peak of the pandemic in our own countries, others will be in the midst of it, and for some the peak is yet to come.

We will stand together across the nations to do what we do best as one body, united in caring for those who need us and supporting each other as we do so.

View our COVID-19 resource centre

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Nikki Morris chair of the RCN cancer and breast care forum chief executive officer of Age UK CamdenNikki Morris, @nikki_a_morris, is chair of the RCN cancer and breast care forum and chief executive officer of Age UK Camden

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