News in brief: Aussies recognised in global gynae-oncology awards; Post-pandemic bowel cancer crisis warning; Physicians not active social media


Aussies recognised in international gynae-oncology awards

Professor Michael Quinn, a cofounder of ANZGOG, has been awarded the International Gynecologic Cancer Society (IGCS) Lifetime Achievement Award for his outstanding service and leadership in the subspecialty.

A former President of the IGCS, Professor Quinn established the IGCS Gynecologic Oncology Global Curriculum and Mentorship Program and was instrumental in the establishment of the IGCS web-based palliative care certificate program to meet the needs of women in low and middle-income countries.

He has held leadership positions in all major societies in the field including the Australian Society of Gynaecologic Oncologists, the Asia-Oceania Research Organisation in Genital Infection and Neoplasia (AOGIN), the Gynecological Cancer Intergroup (GCIG) and the Oncology Committee of the International Federation of Gynaecology and Obstetrics (FIGO).

Professor Andreas Obermair, Director of the Queensland Centre for Gynaecological Cancer Research at the University of Queensland, was awarded the IGCS Excellence in Teaching Award.

He founded SurgicalPerformance, a web-based platform for surgeons to track their outcomes and patient-reported outcomes.


Post-pandemic bowel cancer crisis warning

Urgent action is needed to avoid a rise in colorectal cancers due to pandemic lockdown-related reductions in colonoscopies, accord to Bowel Cancer Australia

In a new report the group says pre-pandemic participation rates in the National Bowel Cancer Screening Program were at 43.5%, and there were significant falls in screening, diagnostic and surveillance colonoscopies in 2020 as well as a reduction in colorectal cancer surgeries.

“Measures taken by governments to mitigate the spread of the virus and limit patient traffic have severely impacted cancer services across the country,” the report noted

“Cancellation of elective surgery, followed by a phased reopening at reduced capacity, has impacted the entire bowel cancer care pathway, and the consequences have been particularly acute for colonoscopy services.

“It is now more likely that patients will present with more advanced disease, require more complex treatments and experience poorer outcomes.”

The report also notes that colonoscopy wait times for people who received a positive screen range from between 112 and 173 days, far exceeding the recommended 30 days.

“Planning for post-pandemic colonoscopy catch-up and increasing ongoing capacity is urgently required as bowel cancer must not be forgotten in the long shadow of COVID-19,” said colorectal surgeon, Dr Graham Newstead AM.

“Otherwise, we risk undoing the gains made over the past 20 years,” he said.


Physicians not active social media

While most physicians (70%) have some kind of social media presence the vast majority are not active, a study of 650 randomly selected doctors at the top 10 US hospitals has found.

Physicians were most likely to have a social media profile on LinkedIn (45%), followed by Facebook (23%) and Twitter 19%) and 7% had a blog or personal webpage.

However, almost 90% had no engagement on social media in recent months in terms of posts or interactions with other users, the survey found.

Physicians had a median of 99 followers on Twitter, 301 on Facebook and 161 followers on LinkedIn. Female physicians were more likely than males to have a social media presence, according to the findings published in JAMA Network Open..

The survey also showed that surgeons had higher number of followers than physicians and were also three times more likely to be active on social media.

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