ISNCC Board of Directors Call for Nominations

November 15th, 2019 in Board in Action, International News

2020 Executive and Portfolio Positions

ISNCC is seeking nominations from individuals interested in opportunities to be involved in ISNCC at the Board level. Individuals with experience working with ISNCC or within national cancer nursing societies with experience relevant to the advertised portfolios are encouraged to nominate.

Nominees will need a good command of written and spoken English, access to electronic and telephone communication and be prepared to travel at least annually for Board of Directors meetings. Nominators must be a member of a national cancer nursing society in his/her country or, if no cancer nursing society in that country, a member of a national nursing society, or regional / international oncology nursing society (e.g. EONS, AONS, ISNCC), and working in the field of cancer nursing. Self-nominations are eligible.

Official voting on the nominated directors will take place after the nominations deadline by full members of ISNCC. These positions will commence on July 1st, 2020.

Open Executive Positions

  • President-Elect
  • Treasurer-Secretary

Open Portfolio Positions

  • Conference Management Committee Chair
  • Policy and Advocacy Committee Chair

Deadline for nominations is December 20, 2019

Please note the nominations form is available in Word format for your convenience. Email info@isncc.org to request this version of the form.

November is Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Month

November 4th, 2019 in Hot Topics, International News, Reflection

Submitted by Fedricker D. Barber, PhD, ANP-BC, AOCNP, University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX

Did you know that November is Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Month and that November 21, 2019 is World Pancreatic Cancer Day? Pancreatic cancer is one of the deadliest cancers worldwide and is one of the leading causes of cancer mortality in developing countries (World Health Organization, n.d.). In 2018, approximately 458,000 people were diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, and an estimated 456,280 people are expected to die from this disease by 2020 (World Health Organization, n.d.). Currently, there is no cure for pancreatic cancer and there are no screening tests to detect this disease, therefore, education and awareness are key to preventing pancreatic cancer.


The incidence rate for pancreatic cancer varies, for example, the highest incidence rate was in North America (50,745) and Europe (128,045) in 2018 (World Health Organization, n.d.). Whereas, the lowest incidence rate was in Africa (15.458) in 2018 (World Health Organization, n.d.). Generally, pancreatic cancer is more prevalent in men than in women and is a disease of older adults, with a median age of onset of 71 years (Ilic & Ilic, 2016; McGuigan et al., 2018; McWilliams et al., 2016).

Risk Factors

Researchers are making progress in understanding the causes of pancreatic cancer, however, the precise cause is unknown. Epidemiological data suggests that family history of pancreatic cancer, smoking, obesity, diabetes mellitus, and chronic pancreatitis are associated with pancreatic cancer (Ilic & Ilic, 2016; McWilliams et al., 2016). Additionally, alcohol use > 26 grams daily has been identified as a risk for pancreatic cancer (Ilic & Ilic, 2016; McWilliams et al., 2016).

Clinical Manifestations

Unfortunately, clinical manifestations of pancreatic cancer usually do not occur until the cancer has invaded other organs (McGuigan et al., 2018). Common symptoms include: unexplained weight loss, epigastric pain that radiates to the back, jaundice, anorexia, abdominal bloating, clay-colored stools, nausea, and fatigue (McGuigan et al., 2018).


The major factor impacting survival and outcomes in patients with pancreatic cancer is the tumor stage. For instance, the 5-year survival rate for patients with pancreatic cancer is 6% worldwide, however, with localized disease, the 5-year survival rate is 37% versus 3% for stage IV disease (McGuigan et al., 2018).


Treatment for pancreatic cancer varies depending on the stage of the disease. Surgical resection such as pancreatico-duodenectomy or total pancreatectomy potentially can cure pancreatic cancer (McGuigan et al., 2018). Other treatment options such as chemotherapy and chemo-radiotherapy have been showed to increase overall survival (71%-76%), however, patients tend to have recurrent disease within two years (McGuigan et al., 2018).


Given that there is no reliable screening test available to detect pancreatic cancer, education and awareness is key to prevention and early diagnosis.


Ilic, M., & Ilic, I. (2016). Epidemiology of pancreatic cancer. World J Gastroenterol, 22(44), 9694-9705. doi:10.3748/wjg.v22.i44.9694

McGuigan, A., Kelly, P., Turkington, R. C., Jones, C., Coleman, H. G., & McCain, R. S. (2018). Pancreatic cancer: A review of clinical diagnosis, epidemiology, treatment and outcomes. World J Gastroenterol, 24(43), 4846-4861. doi:10.3748/wjg.v24.i43.4846

McWilliams, R. R., Maisonneuve, P., Bamlet, W. R., Petersen, G. M., Li, D., Risch, H. A., . . . Lowenfels, A. B. (2016). Risk Factors for Early-Onset and Very-Early-Onset Pancreatic Adenocarcinoma: A Pancreatic Cancer Case-Control Consortium (PanC4) Analysis. Pancreas, 45(2), 311-316. doi:10.1097/mpa.0000000000000392

World Health Organization. Cancer tomorrow. (n.d). Retrieved from http://gco.iarc.fr/

Oncology clinic nurses’ perception of routine fall assessment and screening in older adults with cancer

September 24th, 2019 in International News

By Kristen Haase, RN PhD and Schroder Sattar, RN PhD

Cancer is one of the most common diseases worldwide and is most common amongst adults over age 50. Although the risk of falls is a concern for many older adults, this risk is greater amongst those with cancer due to the side effects and toxicities of cancer treatments. Although there is growing literature on nurses approach to fall management in the broader literature, less is known about how oncology clinic nurses incorporate falls assessments into their practice. As such, we have recently launched an online survey to explore oncology clinic nurses’ perception regarding routine fall assessment and fall screening in older patients. And below are findings from our preliminary analysis:

To date, 113 oncology nurses have participated in the online survey (Canada 59%, Belgium 34%, United States 3%, Australia 3%). The majority of respondents believed older patients should be screened for fall risks (68.8%) and asked about falls (85.1%) at each appointment. When a fall is reported, the most common actions include asking circumstances of falls (97.3%), asking if walking aids were used at the time of the fall (81.4%), informing the oncologist (75.3%), and medication review (61.8%). The majority stated they would be willing to routinely ask older patients about falls (84.5%) and screen for fall risks (74.5%). For those who were unwilling to implement routine fall assessment or gait and balance screening, lack of time and support staff, belief that patients will volunteer information about falls, and feeling unprepared/unfamiliar with screening tools were key barriers.

Our preliminary findings suggest that many oncology nurses believe in the importance of routine fall assessment and screening and are willing to implement them routinely. However, structural, attitudinal, and knowledge-based barriers exist that may impede nurses’ ability or willingness to do so. This highlights the need to explore strategies to address these barriers to mitigate the harmful effects of falls amongst this population.

The survey is currently still open, if you have yet to participate, please kindly take a moment to complete the survey and feel free to share this survey widely.


Development of a culturally sensitive website for the promotion of healthy lifestyles and cancer screening utilization for effective cancer prevention among South Asians in Hong Kong.

July 19th, 2019 in ICNN Articles, International News

Dr. Winnie K.W. SO, (RN, PhD)
Ms. Tika RANA, (MSc. Stud)
Dr. Bernard M. H. LAW, (PhD)
The Nethersole School of Nursing, Faculty of Medicine, the Chinese University of Hong Kong


Cancer is a common chronic disease with 18.1 million new cases and death of around 9.6 million reported worldwide in 2018 (WHO, 2019). Notably, South Asian ethnic minorities appear to be particularly vulnerable to cancer development, owing to their lack of knowledge on the strategies for cancer prevention. Indeed, the uptake of cervical cancer screening among South Asian women in Hong Kong was considerably lower than that among local Chinese women (36.9% vs 60.5%) (So et al., 2017; Cervical cancer coverage, 2019), which is partly attributed to the unawareness of local South Asians on the importance of cancer screening in cancer prevention.

Picture 1: Promotion of the website among South Asian women at a religious place

Moreover, they face difficulties in accessing publicly available healthcare services due to language barrier, culture-related factors and lack of health insurance coverage (So et al., 2015; Vandan et al., 2018). With the low level of health knowledge among these South Asian ethnic minorities being a factor for their vulnerability to cancer development, effective dissemination of information on the effective strategies for cancer prevention to these individuals is required. This project aims to develop a culturally sensitive website to disseminate the importance of adopting healthy lifestyles and cancer screening utilisation in cancer prevention among South Asians in Hong Kong.


The content and materials required for the development of the website were first prepared. The website contains information on the strategies of prevention of chronic diseases including various cancers, presenting videos that disseminate the importance of cancer screening utilisation and adoption of healthy lifestyles in cancer prevention. Advice was sought from health professionals and South Asian community leaders on the strategies in making the content more informative. Thereafter, the website content was translated into South Asian languages and uploaded onto the website. The developed website (http://minorityhealth.nur.cuhk.edu.hk/) was then promoted among South Asians via 19 organizations including local nongovernmental organizations, ethnic minority associations, and social media to increase its publicity. Effectiveness of the website in enhancing health and cancer knowledge was assessed among the website viewers via a self-report questionnaire.

Picture 2: Project team with advisory panel members
Picture 3: Promotion of the website to South Asian


Overall, the website was viewed 12,718 times. Information related to different cancers were most frequently viewed. Further, a total of 249 participants took part in the evaluation of the effectiveness of the website. More than 90% of them expressed that the website was effective in enhancing their knowledge on chronic disease and cancer prevention and that they were satisfied with the website. More than 100 inquiries were made by the website viewers via phone, Facebook page or “contact us” link, request further information on issues regarding cancer screening.

Picture 4: Promotion of the website among South Asian by setting up a booth in ethnic minority event


The use of a culturally sensitive website in disseminating health knowledge may be an effective way in promoting the importance of cancer screening among South Asians in Hong Kong. Healthcare policy makers should allocate resources to the development of online educational materials for a wider dissemination of health knowledge among South Asians, which would help enhance their understanding on the effective strategies for cancer prevention, thereby lowering their risk of developing cancer.


Cervical cancer coverage. (2019, May). Cervical Screening Programme: Statistics and Reports. Retreived from https://www.cervicalscreening.gov.hk/english/sr/sr_statistics_ccsc.html

So, W.K.W., Chan, N. S. D., Rana, T., Law, B.M.H., Leung, D.Y.P., Chan, H.Y.L., Ng, C.C., Chair, S.Y., Chan, C.W.H. (2017). Development and evaluation of multimedia interventions to promote breast and cervical health among South Asian women in Hong Kong: A project protocol. Asia- Pacific Journal of Oncology Nursing; 4(4): 361-365.

So, W.K., Chow, K.M., Choi, K.C., Chen, J.M., Chan, C.W. (2015). Perceived facilitators and barriers to cervical cancer screening among ethnic minority women in Hong Kong. Cancer Nurs;38:S7.

Vanda, N., Wong, J.Y., Fong, D.Y. (2018). Accessing health care: Experiences of South Asian ethnic minority women in Hong Kong. Nursing and Health Sciences; 21(1): 93-101.

World Health Organization (WHO). (2019). Latest global cancer data: cancer burdern rises to 18.1 millin new cases and 9.6 cancer deaths in 2018 . Retrieved from https://www.who.int/cancer/PRGlobocanFinal.pdf

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: