Countdown to London 2020 – Episode 1 ‘Nursing and London: connecting with history’

Mark Foulkes RGN, BSc (Hons), MSc (Nurse Consultant and Macmillan Lead Cancer Nurse – Royal Berkshire NHS Foundation Trust)

Greetings to cancer nurses across the world. It is such a pleasure to have the opportunity to chat to you via this new blog. I will be writing regularly as we move towards the ICCN conference in 2020 in London.

Perhaps an introduction is in order? My name is Mark Foulkes and I am a Nurse Consultant and the Macmillan Lead Cancer Nurse at the Royal Berkshire Hospital in Reading. In practice this means I work in a Cancer Centre (providing radiotherapy and chemotherapy) in a large town around 30 miles west of London. I work in our Acute Oncology team assessing and caring for patients who are brought into hospital either with side-effects of cancer treatment, cancer-related symptoms or those who have been diagnosed with a new cancer following a hospital admission. I am also a Board Member for the UK Oncology Nursing Society (UKONS), where I lead for cancer nurse education.

UKONS are working in partnership with the ISNCC to bring you this conference and we are thrilled that London has been chosen to host the event. It is particularly apt that London is the venue in 2020, as next year marks the 200th anniversary of the birth of Florence Nightingale and the WHO ‘Year of the Nurse’. London is a sort of ‘homecoming’ for the ICCN as the conference was founded by Robert Tiffany in London in 1984. So other than this ‘alignment of stars’ and a superb conference line-up (details will follow in the next few weeks and months) what can London offer cancer nurses in terms of connections with our history and the history of medicine?

Let’s start with Florence Nightingale herself. Regarded as the inventor of modern nursing, Nightingale set up the first school of nursing at St Thomas’s Hospital in London in 1860 following her return from the Crimean War and her belief that good sanitation and cleanliness would save patients lives. The Florence Nightingale School of Nursing is now part of Kings College Hospital, but the original buildings can still be seen at The Florence Nightingale Museum at St.Thomas’ Hospital, where the Guy’s and St.Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust still award the Nightingale badge to nurses who complete nurse education and training at the hospital.

Another famous nurse who built her reputation in the Crimean War was Mary Seacole. Mary Seacole was a British-Jamaican woman who has been honoured as the greatest black Briton. She was based in London for much of her life and died in Paddington in London in 1881. She is buried at St. Mary’s Catholic Cemetery (part of Kensal Rise Cemetery) in North West London and the Mary Seacole Statue can be viewed at St Thomas’s Hospital.

Another London site that might be of interest to the ICCN 2020 delegates, and indeed to nurses in general, is one of the oldest operating theatres in the world. Housed in the attic of the early eighteenth-century church of the old St Thomas’ Hospital. This atmospheric museum offers a unique insight into the history of medicine and surgery. The timber building was once used to dry and store herbs for patients’ medicines but, in 1822, an operating theatre was added. The theatre predates such luxuries as anaesthetics and antiseptics, and it is the oldest surviving surgical theatre in Europe. Finally, no ‘nursing tour’ of London would be complete without a visit to the Royal College of Nursing’s Library and Heritage Centre, which has exhibitions integrating stories from nurses themselves and items from their unique collection.

I hope this has given you a taste of the nursing history that London has to offer, and I hope you can attend the ICCN 2020. I will return in a few weeks with another blog focusing on cancer nursing in the UK and the role of the UK Oncology Nursing society (UKONS). You can register for ICCN 2020 in London here: iccn2020.org

If you have any questions about the content of this blog feel free to contact me at mark.foulkes@royalberkshore.nhs.uk

Mark will be a regular contributor in the leadup to the International Conference on Cancer Nursing (ICCN) 2020 in London, commencing March 1, 2020. Mark is a nurse consultant and Macmillan Lead Cancer Nurse at the Royal Berkshire Hospital in Reading, UK. He is UKONS Board Member and is very enthusiastic about improving cancer nurse education.

ICCN 2020 Book Donation Initiative

The distribution of global cancer nursing education resources is unbalanced. There are insufficient cancer textbooks in low and middle-income countries where cancer nurses, educators, and researchers do not get adequate access to adequate professional books.

To support resource sharing and enhance cancer nursing development in underdeveloped areas, the ISNCC Communications Committee will launch the 3rd book donation activity at ICCN 2020. This activity was greatly supported by all the ISNCC members and participants at ICCN 2017-2018 with 76 textbooks in English and 31 textbooks in Chinese donated to 58 nurses from low resource areas. This enhanced the internal and external communication of ISNCC as well as promoting the sharing of educational resources.

We invite all ICCN 2020 delegates to bring books to donate or exchange.

The textbook donations criteria will be as follows:

  • Published within the last 10 years
  • Published by an authorized publishing company
  • Content range:
    • Cancer nursing theories
    • Clinical technologies and practices on cancer nursing
    • Research methods in cancer nursing
    • Any text related to cancer nursing

A table will be set up at ICCN and staffed by Communications Committee Members. Please ensure the textbooks you bring to ICCN follow the textbook donations criteria.

You are welcome to bring your books to the table and leave your contact information including email address. A book donation certificate will be sent to the donators.

We are looking forward to your participation!

ICCN 2020 will be in London, UK: Abstract Submissions are Open!

Linda U. Krebs, PhD, RN, AOCN, FAAN
Chair, Conference Management Committee, ISNCC

The ISNCC Board of Directors and its Conference Management Committee are thrilled to announce the next International Conference on Cancer Nursing (ICCN 2020) to be held March 29th through April 1st, 2020 at Imperial College, London, UK! The theme for the conference is “Innovation and Inspiration: Celebrating the Global Impact of Oncology Nurses.” This is a most appropriate theme as 2020 has been designated as “The Year of the Nurse” by the World Health Organization. Additionally, 2020 is the 200th anniversary of the birth of Florence Nightingale, so we will have plenty to celebrate!

The ISNCC Board of Directors and its Conference Management Committee are thrilled to announce the next International Conference on Cancer Nursing (ICCN 2020) to be held March 29th through April 1st, 2020 at Imperial College, London, UK! The theme for the conference is “Innovation and Inspiration: Celebrating the Global Impact of Oncology Nurses.” This is a most appropriate theme as 2020 has been designated as “The Year of the Nurse” by the World Health Organization. Additionally, 2020 is the 200th anniversary of the birth of Florence Nightingale, so we will have plenty to celebrate!

The conference will focus on all aspects of cancer nursing and our ability to impact patients, families, communities and nations through clinical practice, education, health policy, leadership, and research. Through scholarly discourse, networking and collaboration among oncology nursing educators, practitioners, researchers, and leaders from across the globe, we will showcase the remarkable work and dedication of nurses involved in cancer care.

The conference offers a wide variety of educational opportunities including pre-conference programs, plenary speakers, oral presentations, instructional sessions, and poster sessions as well as social and cultural events to educate and celebrate nurses. A special highlight will be the Robert Tiffany Award keynote address sponsored by the Royal Marsden Hospital NHS Foundation Trust.

ICCN 2020 will be ISNCC’s 23rd conference! It is especially exciting to be holding it in London, the birthplace of ISNCC. Imperial College will be an exceptional venue for our meeting. Located near Hyde Park and adjacent to museums, cultural sites, great restaurants, and shopping, it provides multiple modern meeting rooms and wonderful spots for networking and interacting with colleagues, sponsors and exhibitors. Pre-conference sessions will be held minutes away from Imperial College at the Royal Marsden. Tours of this remarkable facility are being arranged for those who are interested.


We also are excited to announce that abstract submissions are now being accepted for oral, rapid-fire, poster, and instructional sessions through the Abstract Portal. Visit iccn2020.org/ for more information.

Numerous topics will be accepted in the following categories: administration, management/ leadership, advanced practice, education, general practice, health policy, and research. The deadline for submission will be August 19th, 2019 at 11:59P EDT. Please see the portal for full information including requirements for submission.

We hope that you will submit an abstract and plan to attend ICCN 2020 in London, March 29th through April 1st, 2020. The conference provides a wonderful opportunity to share your professional activities and projects focused on cancer nursing administration, practice, education, health policy, leadership, and research. It also is a great opportunity to catch up with old friends, make new friends and enjoy all that the conference and London have to offer!

If you would like to know more about ICCN2020 and are not on ISNCC’s mailing list, please join the mailing list at:

Forging the Academic Power of Oncology Nursing Exceed Professional Dream

March 16th, 2017 in Conference Features

Authors: Yong-yi Chen

Affiliations: International Society of Nurses in Cancer Care

The 2nd National academic conference on oncology nursing & 2017 international forum on cancer care was held in Fuzhou city of China from March 9-12, 2017. The conference theme was ‘Forging the Academic Power of Oncology Nursing Exceed Professional Dream’. Approximately 600 participants actively involved in this academic event.

Dr. Patsy Yates, the President Elect of ISNCC, was invited as the plenary speaker. She highlighted her presentation on the recent advances in oncology: the implications for nurses. By literature review, the implications were focus on four parts which are as follows.

  1. Treat cancer as chronic disease.
  2. The support for the comorbidity diseases and frail patients.
  3. Provide personalized symptom management.
  4. Share the experience of coordination nursing.

Dr. Patsy shared her views by illustrating the different of age-related symptom clusters, self-management of CINV, trends of personalized nursing, strategies of realizing coordination nursing, etc. on. She stressed the importance of comprehensive assessment and supportive care for cancer patients. The comorbidity diseases, as well as frail patients such as geriatric cancer patients should been paid more attention to.

The speech of Dr. Patsy really provided beneficial guidance for clinical practice, helped us to identify the areas for improvement of our daily work, offered direction for further cancer nursing research.

In order to enhance ISNCC’s communications with cancer nurses in China and promote the image of ISNCC. I prepared a exhibition board of ISNCC at the entrance of conference venue. The aim is to encourage more delegates to pay attention to our society, log on our official website to obtain progress, information and resources of ISNCC. I believe based on unremitting efforts, mutual recognition and effective communications, the influence of ISNCC will be further expanded in China. More cancer nurses in China will share their knowledge and experience by the online platform of ISNCC, such as blog. They will be more involved in the strategies to reduce the global burden of cancer and strive for the better care to cancer patients.

Dr. Patsy Yates at the conference

Exhibition board of ISNCC

2016 World Cancer Congress: Mobilising Action, Inspiring Change

January 19th, 2017 in Conference Features

Author: Catherine Johnson, Newcastle, Australia

Affiliation:  Calvary Mater Newcastle, Australia


During early November 2016 a global conversation focussed on the theme Mobilising Action, Inspiring Change was held in Paris, France at the World Cancer Congress hosted by the Union for International Cancer Control (UICC). Over 3200 leaders and experts from 169 countries attended and 500 speakers engaged audiences across 144 multidisciplinary sessions.

The Congress opened with a welcoming and passionate address from the President of France, François Hollande that imbued pride in the work that health care professionals around the globe contribute to cancer care and control. President Hollande focussed on cancer that is preventable through modifiable lifestyle risk factors such as diet, tobacco and alcohol. President Hollande provided thoughtful commentary on preservation of quality of life after a diagnosis of cancer and continued efforts for improvements in prevention and treatment through research on a global scale; providing equity for all who are affected by cancer. He also spoke of the central role women have in society; not only because women are so frequently affected by cancer and experience global inequity in accessing prevention treatment and screening but also because women as the first agents of public health policy are pivotal to any cancer control strategy. These sentiments were echoed in opening addresses by Her Majesty the Queen of Spain, Professor Jacqueline Godet, President – French League Against Cancer and Michel Sidibé, Executive Director of UNAIDS and Under- Secretary-General of the United Nations. Mr Sidibé called for a radical reform of the global health architecture to ensure worldwide health security through universal access to integrated prevention, treatment, care and health management services that are rights-based, equitable, just and efficient and delivered by innovative health systems.

The opening addresses set the tone for the conversations to follow during the 4 days of congress. Delegates discussed innovations central to global cancer control including prevention, screening, detection and treatment and increasing calls to improve cancer control by finding solutions to balancing cost of cancer control and global equity. In 2010 the global annual cost of cancer was $1.16 trillion and rising and unless current trends in incidence are disrupted the largest increases in the burden of cancer will be in low and middle income countries.

Delegates also heard about one of the most vulnerable global populations; 21.3 million refugees. The extreme cancer and Non Communicable Disease (NCD) burden that faces refugees has yet to form a meaningful part of the international humanitarian response. Insufficient access to early diagnosis, a scarcity of oncologists and treatment facilities, a disruption in drug supply and barriers to importing chemotherapy, and a lack of continuity in care after displacement were key issues highlighted that face refugees. Delegates present agreed with the need to treat refugees living with cancer as an emergency issue amidst the ongoing destruction of hospitals and lack of continuity in care. International collaborations such as a priority list of NCDs and cancer medicines, shared experiences of delivering cancer care in conflict scenarios, early diagnoses, and refugee specific cancer policy and control plans are absolutely crucial in ensuring improved results in what is an emerging issue in the fields of both international cancer care and humanitarian crisis response.

The congress had 5 central tracks to engage delegates

  1. Stemming the tide: innovations in prevention and screening
  2. Closing the gap: quality cancer treatment and diagnosis for all
  3. Improving patient and family experiences
  4. Strengthening cancer control: optimising outcomes of health systems
  5. Empowering civil societies: building capacity for change

The congress program provided a unique insight into the global perspective of cancer, beyond the traditional treatment paradigm and while content was at times sobering delegates emerged with a sense of hope that they truly could mobilise action and inspire change through their actions in their own communities.

The next conference will be held in Kuala Lumpur in 2018. More information can be found at http://www.worldcancercongress.org/au-revoir-paris-halo-kuala-lumpur