Inside this issue: Radiation Therapy (a joint issue with ESTRO) and EONS at ECCO 2017

‘The good that it has done for my career, my motivation and my future work’

Maria Dias, a young cancer nurse from Portugal, speaks about her experience of ECCO 2017

Maria Dias

Maria Dias

I had already been part of the Portuguese young nurses project, attended the twitter workshop and the meeting of EONS Communication Group. After that, and because I was excited with all projects and opportunities that EONS can provide for my career, I was keen to have more learning experiences. So, I heard about ECCO Congress and was interested – but it is difficult for a young nurse to find the time and money to go. Then, I discovered the possibility of an EONS grant. I applied (it’s easy!) and was delighted to find I had been successful!

So, I was off to the ECCO Congress, a multidisciplinary oncology congress where I was to learn all about the most recent developments in interdisciplinary clinical knowledge.

‘It helped give me more motivation’

I really enjoyed the EONS Session on the first day. I was welcomed by everyone in EONS, I learned about the experiences of other nurses and of the realities of working life in other countries. I found that some of the issues we have in Portugal – like emigration and salary problems and, most importantly, the lack of recognition for the profession (as it was said in one presentation, the fact that “we are in a nursing bubble”) – are the same in other countries. To hear them identified was encouraging and helped give me more motivation. I was very happy to know that EONS is trying to resolve these difficulties and to find that these international congresses are now embracing multidisciplinary meetings.

Perhaps because I’m a young nurse myself and I understand the way we view the future of nursing, I was very interested in the talk on the “new generation of cancer nurses”; the challenges, the needs and the motivations that we have.

A chance to network and learn new things (Photo credit: With thanks to ECCO)

A chance to network and learn new things

A time of change

As regards the future of oncology and nursing, I appreciated the discussion about promoting adherence and monitoring immune-related adverse effects: we are living at a time of change and that will be the future of oncology, so we nurses have to prepare ourselves to be able to benefit the patient.

Most important of all is the ‘Recognising European Cancer Nursing’ (RECaN) project EONS is carrying out with ECCO. I was thrilled to have the chance to be a part of the launch as I think this is a noble job for EONS and I hope it will successfully fulfill its ultimate goal.

It’s difficult to describe everything significant that happened at the ECCO Congress but these are just a few of the topics with which I identified most. It’s difficult to fully describe all the good that it has done for my career, my motivation and my future work, but I hope this gives you a flavour.