BOSTON--"Our members must stand up as champions of special training in surgical oncology," Society of Surgical Oncology (SSO) president Bernard Gardner, MD, said at the Society's Annual Cancer Symposium. "We must continue to nourish this society because we provide something unique."
Dr. Gardner is professor of surgery and director of surgical education at the New Jersey Medical School, Newark.
In an inspirational speech, Dr. Gardner strongly advocated special training programs in surgical oncology. Experienced surgeons specifically trained to manage cancer-related problems will lead to an improvement in cancer care, he believes. He also called for an increased level of funding for surgical oncology research as part of training programs. "We must continue to search for new ways to treat cancer," he said.
Dr. Gardner urged surgical oncologists to avoid being intimidated by the government's efforts to modify aggressive approaches to the treatment of cancer, and not to allow the government to prevent the early referral of patients with cancer.
The government's attitude does not reflect the complexity of surgical operations for cancer, he argued. He also admonished societal attitudes of passivity toward the treatment of cancer, especially in the elderly.