President's Message


R Kirby

Welcome to the website of BASO ~ The Association for Cancer Surgery


I was very honoured to be elected as President of BASO-ACS, from November 2017 for two years.  I first encountered BASO as a surgical trainee in the early 1980s.  The organisation held interesting meetings, covering the areas of cancer surgery that general surgical trainees had to cover, and allowed insights into surgical cancer treatments in other disciplines. Surgical consultant appointees in the 1990s 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, and the role of the surgical oncologist appeared lost.

The majority of surgical cancer specialists have now been trained totally in the era of subspecialty, and apart from early experience in a range of topics, have had little senior experience of other cancer management outside their own.  One of the significant benefits of being in BASO 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.

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, whether it is a simple resection or a complex operation.  As surgical treatment improves, we have to make sure that experience of surviving also enhances - quality of life is vitally important, and this is part of the surgical ethos.

BASO~ACS is a charity, and our remit is to advance the science of cancer surgery and to educate.  We want to educate each other at a senior level, to hear the best surgical talents in the world discussing their work and expectations.  We 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 - because there WILL  be significant changes during their working lives.  We can see the start of the genomic revolution, but 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, and we also send our stars of the future to get experience of the best surgical cancer treatment in the world with the Ronald Raven Travelling Fellowship.

Surgical oncologists from all sites rely on our oncology colleagues for adjuvant treatment, and links with oncologists are important not only in multidisciplinary team settings but also at higher levels.  We have had two successful years of close links with the National Cancer Research Institute (NCRI) at our annual meetings.  In November 2018 in our National Congress, we will be meeting with the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow and then joining the NCRI for their Glasgow meeting.  We will be having international Keynote speakers and workshops as well as opportunities for trainees or others to present their work in surgical oncology of all cancer types to a broad audience. We encourage you to come and join us.

BASO 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.

We are fortunate that all our members benefit from our ongoing close association with ESSO. Our trainees have access to all of the Trainee events of EYSAC (European Young Surgeons and Alumni Club) and BASO members benefit from member rates at all ESSO congresses and courses across Europe as well as all the networking and fellowship opportunities this linkage provides.

Finally we plan to increase our engagement with the national community of cancer surgeons across the UK, both in academic, teaching and district hospitals by appointing 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.

We hope you will continue to support us as we move forward.

Professor Robert Kirby
President  BASO~ACS

Professor of Clinical Education and Surgery and Consultant Surgeon, UHNM Hospital Dean, Keele University Medical School


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