First Asian Oncology Nursing Conference

    Sultan Kav, former EONS President, attended the first ever conference of the Asian Oncology Nursing Society (AONS) in November 2013. This is her report of the event.

    The Asian Oncology Nursing Society (AONS) organised its first ever conference in Bangkok, Thailand, with the theme: “New Era of Oncology Nurses in Asia”.

    The conference was a splendid success as it brought 464 participants from 17 countries (Thailand, China, Taiwan, Japan, South Korea, Indonesia, Philippines, Hong Kong, USA, India, Singapore, Australia, Canada, Turkey and Iran) and had 40 invited speakers at plenary sessions besides 157 poster and 30 oral presentations.

    Pictures from the first AONS conference

    The aim of holding the conference was to facilitate opportunities for networking and collaboration among oncology nurses in Asia, as well as to provide a forum for an exchange of ideas. There were three pre-conference workshops: “Advanced palliative care for cancer patients internationally” hosted by End of Life Nursing Education Consortium (ELNEC) International; “How to improve adherence to oral cancer agents” and “Research development in symptom management supportive care” hosted by MASCC (Multinational Association of Supportive Care in Cancer).

    Following the workshops the first AONS Board Meeting was run; bylaws and constitutions were agreed. At the Presidential dinner each Asia Oncology Nursing Society President introduced their country and presented their association. It was amazing to hear and learn about their culture.

    Pictures from the first AONS conference

    During the opening ceremony an amazing traditional Thai show was performed and followed by a presentation about the current situation of cancer in Asia. It was stated that Asia accounts for almost two-thirds of the world population and half the global burden of cancer. The incidence of cancer cases is estimated to increase from 6.1 million in 2008 to 10.6 million in 2030, due to ageing and growing populations, lifestyle and socioeconomic changes. The most common cancers are lung, stomach, liver, colon/rectum and oesophagus in men and breast, lung, stomach, colon/rectum and liver cancers in women (Sankaranarayanan et al, 2014).

    The first plenary session allowed participants to learn about international cancer nursing bodies such as ISNCC, EONS and ONS. Subsequent sessions included presentations about oncology nursing practice in each Asian country.

    Pictures from the first AONS conference

    AONS was formed in 2012 by a group of Asian nurses headed by Kazuko Onishi of Japan and Pongpak Pittayapan of Thailand. The AONS Board includes representatives from China, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Japan, Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan and Thailand. The size of the membership of the each society varies from 250 to 20,000 oncology nurses.

    It was announced that the next bi-annual conference will be hosted by the Korea Oncology Nursing Society in 2015.

    * Reference: Sankaranarayanan R, Ramadas K, Qiao YL. Managing the changing burden of cancer in Asia. BMC Med. 2014 Jan 8;12(1):3. doi: 10.1186/1741-7015-12-3.