President's Message

Hassan Malik (Medal)

I was very honoured to be elected as President of BASO~ACS, from November 2019 for two years. The organisation will be 50 years old in 2021, and over its history, BASO has seen an evolution in how we deliver surgical cancer care. It is recognised, although not widely understood by the general public, and even those having responsibility for health matters, that most cures for cancer are surgical.

Surgical consultant appointees in the 1970s were expected to cover a wide range of cancer sites, and this applied both to those with a surgical oncology interest and also to surgeons with a benign interest. Following the Calman-Hine report, and the Cancer Plan, all surgeons dealing with cancer had to subspecialise. The majority of surgical cancer specialists have now been trained totally in the era of subspecialty. Although our training may now focus within a defined anatomical arena, as the complexity of cancer care with multimodal personalised care increases within the MDT, the light of surgical oncology continues to burn bright.

One of the significant benefits of being in BASO~ACS is that it allows the surgeons to hear about cutting-edge research and cancer management in all solid cancer surgical sites.  Despite the separation of cancer type management, many concepts, both surgical and adjuvant, cross the boundaries. We aim to continue to increase our engagement with the national community of cancer surgeons across the UK, both in academic, teaching, and district hospitals through our regional representatives across the UK. We must never lose sight of the fact that the majority of cancers are dealt with by surgeons working in smaller hospitals, and we intent that BASO~ACS  will continue to support them in their work by providing first class continuing medical education, networking and professional support.

BASO~ACS members also form a vibrant part of the European Society of Surgical Oncology's 4000 odd strong community of members.  As such, we also benefit from the numerous educational and training resources that this international society has to offer, as well as an opportunity to network with colleagues and opinion leaders.

BASO~ACS is a charity, and our remit is to advance the science of cancer surgery and to educate.  We aspire to educate each other at a senior level, to hear the best surgical talents in the world, discussing their work and expectations.  We also need to teach our colleagues in training not only about research and the best management of cancers but also to have an enquiring open mind. We can see the start of the genomic revolution. The impact of AI with robotics, big data, and imaging has the potential to transform our profession. However, there are also the "unknown unknowns" that will affect the way the present trainees will be working in 20 -30 years' time.  BASO~ACS works for the future of cancer research and treatment.  As a charity, we sponsor trainees' research, being one of a handful of "surgical" societies that is a non-commercial partner with the NCRI.  In addition, we also send our stars of the future to get an experience of the best surgical cancer treatment in the world with the Ronald Raven Travelling Fellowship.

In addition to its role within education and training, BASO~ACS continues to play a significant role within Onco-policy through both its position as the chair of the Cancer Services Committee of the Royal College of Surgeons of England as well as membership of the NHS England Specialist cancer surgery clinical reference group.

BASO~ACS is also very proud to be one of the 2 founding bodies of the European Journal of Surgical Oncology (EJSO). This Journal is going from strength to strength under the leadership of Professor Audisio with its impact factor exceeding this year and seeing a steady rise in the number and quality of submissions. Subscription to the Journal is a benefit of BASO~ACS membership.

This Society continues to grow from strength to strength, and we hope you will continue to support us as we move forward towards the next 50 years.

Hassan Z Malik

President BASO-ACS

Associate Professor, University of Liverpool

Consultant Hepatobiliary and Sarcoma Surgeon, Liverpool University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

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