Board in Action: Member Development Committee

April 28th, 2015 in Board in Action

by Andrew Dimech, Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust, London, United Kingdom.  ISNCC Member Development Committee Chair, ISNCC Communications Committee Member.

The Member Development Committee has 13 international members and is chaired by Andrew Dimech. Members of the committee are from Australia, Canada, China, Columbia, Jordan, The Netherlands, United States of America and the United Kingdom. The function of the committee is to sustain and increase membership of cancer nursing organisations within ISNCC, increase membership of national nursing organisations in low resource countries, to expand Special Interest Groups and to collaborate and effectively communicate with members and oncology nurses throughout the world.

Click here to view the Member Development Committee webpage.

There are various membership options within the ISNCC which provide a range of exciting benefits. The membership categories include:

  • Individual Membership – Individual nurses or other professionals involved or interested in cancer nursing.
  • Association Membership – Oncology institutions, hospitals, charities and related organizations. This network is an invaluable international resource of nurses working in clinical practice, education, research and management to advise them on cancer nursing and the nurse’s role in cancer care.
  • Full Membership – National oncology nursing societies
  • Corporate Membership – Corporate companies working with ISNCC in stimulating and supporting an active and cohesive worldwide oncology nursing community.

There are various exciting benefits dependant on the membership category. A full list of member benefits is available on the website The membership benefits include:

  • ISNCC Insight – provides a unique platform for nurses around the world to access educational materials that are directly relevant to nursing practice. These materials are complimentary for ISNCC members.
  • Cancer Nursing Journal – the official journal of ISNCC.  Electronic subscription to Cancer Nursing is offered to ISNCC Individual Members.
  • Sosido – an online platform for healthcare professionals to share published research and clinical knowledge, allowing members within a specialty community to connect and broadcast recent work or advances in their field. Individual Members will have access to the ISNCC Community on Sosido. ISNCC members will have access to the Sosido platform and receive weekly email digests summarizing all activity in the ISNCC community.
  • Business meeting of the Society which is held during the International Conference on Cancer Nursing (ICCN)
  • Networking opportunities

Over the coming months the committee is focusing on improving engagement with full and association members. The committee will also be producing a promotional tool kit to showcase the work undertaken by the ISNCC and highlighting member benefits.

The Member Development Committee is also excited to be running the Mentor Program at ICCN 2015 in Vancouver, Canada.  The program enables new delegates to be paired with another ISNCC member who will assist in navigating the conference program, identifying key sessions and providing network opportunities. Delegates can opt to be part of the Mentor Program on the online registration form. We look forward to welcoming all to ICCN 2015 and to ICCN 2016 in Hong Kong.

World Cancer Congress

April 21st, 2015 in Conference Features

by Tish Lancaster, Westmead Hospital, Westmead, Australia.  ISNCC Knowledge Development Committee Member, ISNCC Member Development Committee Member.

The Union for International Cancer Control hosted the World Cancer Congress in Melbourne, Australia last December, attended by 2,700 delegates from 115 countries including Princess Dina of Jordan and the First Lady of South Africa, both passionate advocates for cancer control in their respective countries. The mission of UICC is ‘to unite the cancer community to reduce the global cancer burden, to promote greater equity, and to integrate cancer control into the world health and development agenda.’  ISNCC is one of 830 member organisations from 150 countries.

The conference had a strong emphasis on:

  • Strengthening health systems for global cancer control
  • Reducing exposure to cancer risk factors
  • Universal access to screening and early detection of cancer
  • Universal availability of pain control & distress management.

A unique feature of the conference were daily ‘Big sCreen’ sessions which showcased successful campaigns using videos made for television, film or social media as a means to achieve public health objectives. The short videos can be viewed via the following links:

Quit smoking: from Thailand and  from Tonga.

Plain cigarette packaging:

Testicular self-examination:

Skin cancer awareness:

Sugary drinks:

The international ‘Little Stars Children’s Palliative Care Campaign’ was also launched at the conference. It was a very moving advocacy session featuring a movie launch with inspiring stories exhorting the value of paediatric palliative care and emphasising that every child’s life has value. While 20 million children worldwide would benefit from palliative care, access still remains an issue.

A unique feature of this project was that financial capital to support the venture was achieved by means of Crowdfunding. An introduction and links to short films can be found at and various vignettes can be viewed via the website

Rapid-fire sessions allowed speakers 3 minutes in which to deliver their presentation, after which the microphone was cut off. The short, sharp messages of presenters was an effective way to engage an audience and often resulted in lively discussion. Meanwhile daily early morning yoga sessions for delegates ‘walked the talk’ of caring for oneself in order to be able to effectively care for others.

The World Cancer Congress was a great opportunity to view cancer control from way beyond a clinical perspective. The next Congress will be held in Paris from 31 October – 3 November 2016.

ISNCC members at the World Cancer Congress.  Left to right: Tish Lancaster (Australia), Julia Downing (Uganda), Linda Krebs (USA)

ISNCC members at the World Cancer Congress. Left to right: Tish Lancaster (Australia), Julia Downing (Uganda), Linda Krebs (USA)

The Elephant in the Room

April 7th, 2015 in Reflection

by Massey Nematollahi, Stronach Regional Cancer Center, Newmarket, Canada.

As an oncology nurse educator, one of my roles is educating patients about therapy for their new cancer diagnosis.  The chemotherapy teaching classes which last an hour or so focus on common side effects of chemotherapy treatment that will most likely covers the main common side effects like: nausea, fatigue, and myelosuppression, and  usually at the end of the class may be one slide about intimacy and sexuality. You might say this is the last thing patients might even think about at this stage, or they might be afraid to bring it up or a feeling of embarrassment might prevent the conversation. But whatever it is, I call it elephant in the room…

We all know that most of the cancer treatments could have significant impacts on sexual functioning. Yet , we often are reluctant to open the conversation and talk to our patients about  cancer and sexuality. Recently I had an opportunity to partake in NCI funded program which is an eight weeks course on sexual health assessment in AYA (Adolescents and younger adults). The whole program covers a wide range of topics focusing on reproductive health in males and females, family building options and how to communicate with your patients about sexual health and cancer treatments. This was a great opportunity to realize what we are truly missing in our every day conversation with our patients, their partners, and those of “childbearing potential”. Sex or sexuality is often an un-comfortable topic to discuss with our patients, although infertility and reproductive health issues are an expected consequence of most cancer treatments which include chemotherapy and radiotherapy. Most patients have many questions but they are not sure how to bring it up or where to start the conversation. I believe we, as specialized oncology nurses play a vital role to make sure that communication and discussion related to fertility preservation and reproductive health issues is part of the general assessment prior to providing a comprehensive cancer care.

Board in Action: Communications Committee

April 7th, 2015 in Board in Action

by Winnie So, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, China. ISNCC Communications Committee Chair.

It is my great honor to write the first blog in 2015 and keep you update of what we have done! Actually, the Communications Committee is a new committee of ISNCC, which aims to enhance the Society’s opportunities to communicate with individuals and groups who foster the improvement of health through cancer control. I am so fortunate to have a group of cancer nurses from all over the world working together. My team includes Cynthia Abarado (USA), Andrew Dimech (UK), Lili Hou, (China), Catherine Johnson (Australia), Wai-man Ling (China), Daniel Kelly (UK), Joshua Menang (Cameroon), and Jane Phillips (Australia). You can click here to learn more about us!

Member Needs Survey

In order to have a better understanding about needs of our members, both Communication Committee and Member Development Committee conducted a survey last year. With great support from our members, we have received a total of 235 responses from individual members and 15 responses from full and association member organizations. The survey results have been analyzed and here are main results of the survey.

I. Factors for joining ISNCC and satisfaction with the Society

Three most common factors for joining ISNCC among members were professional development (52.3%), enrich knowledge in cancer care (45%) and networking and collaboration (43.1%). The majority of our members (>70%) were satisfied or very satisfied with the ISNCC membership. However, a small of members felt that they had insufficient opportunities to participate in the Society or to develop professionally.

II. The three most important categories for continuing education

Evidence-based practice in cancer care (Full/asso. vs. individual: 60%vs.65%), management of symptoms and treatment induced complications (Full/asso. vs. individual: 51%vs.53%), and cancer prevention and screening (Full/asso. vs. individual: 40%vs.41%) were the three most important categories reported by both full/association members and individual members. Members also suggested several topics in relation to these three most important categories for continuing education:

  • Evidence-based practice in cancer care: Research in cancer treatment and care; Integration of research into practice
  • Management of symptoms and treatment induced complications: Complications induced by chemotherapy; Symptom assessment and monitoring
  • Cancer prevention and screening: Screening of common cancer; Role of oncology nurses in screening

We also found that the most important category rated by members varied when they were divided into three different levels of income country. Members from high or upper middle income country rated evidence-based practice as the most important category, whereas palliative and supportive care was the most important one rated by those from low-middle and low income country. In regard to mode of delivery, the majority of respondents preferred to receive continuing nursing education via internet, and face-to-face approach.

III. Factors that encourage members to attend the conference:

The three most common factors that encourage members to attend the conference were conference theme, location and keynote / plenary speaker; whereas financial support from their place of work, conference fee, and location were the three most common factors that influenced members not to attend the conference.

IV. Participation in ISNCC activities

The majority of respondents showed interest in being a volunteer and take part in the ISNCC activities (Full/asso. vs. individual: 100%vs.64%). Full members were interested in abstract review, translation and validation of education materials and course development. Individual members expressed their interests in abstract review, course development and mentorship program.

The survey results were carefully reviewed by the ISNCC Board of Directors and Committees. Member feedback and input will be taken into consideration for future planning of ISNCC priorities and activities.  Thanks again for your great support to ISNCC.

Sosido Network

I think members have received a weekly email from Sosido digest for ISNCC.  Actually, Sosido is an online knowledge sharing network which aims to speed knowledge transfer, promote collaboration, highlight the important research work done by our members. Also, members would receive news and updates from ISNCC through Sosido network. We hope you would enjoy the Sosido community network which links our members closer together.

The International Cancer Nursing News (ICNN) Blog is Now Live!

April 7th, 2015 in Editorial Office

by Winnie So, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, China. ISNCC Communications Committee Chair.

We are very excited to launch the International Cancer Nursing News (ICNN) blog and look forward to your participation!

Share your expert knowledge and experiences with other international oncology nursing professionals!  The International Society of Nurses in Cancer Care (ISNCC) welcomes all oncology nursing professionals to contribute articles to the ICNN.

View submission criteria and consider submitting a post!

Share your experiences after attending an oncology nursing event, reflect on a clinical situation you encountered at your workplace, or update your colleagues on recent research at your institution.  All submissions relevant to oncology nursing are welcome.

As we develop this new platform, please feel free to send your comments, questions or feedback to us at  Your input is vital to the success of the society’s development and activities.

ICCN 2018 in Auckland, New Zealand. Save the date!