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ABSICON 2012
A woman succumbs to breast cancer every ten minutes. According to ICMR statistics, 100,000 breast cancers are being diagnosed every year in India & more than 70% of them are diagnosed in advanced stage. By 2020, the incidence of breast cancer in developing nations like India is expected to double. As more than 87% of India's population is under the age of 50 years, there is an alarming trend emerging with the vast majority of women in India being diagnosed with breast cancer at an early age in 40s, 30s and even 20s. Westernized life style changes, lack of awareness, absence of well-established Nationwide breast cancer screening programme, inability to implement evidence based treatment protocols uniformly across the country and the concept of Specialist Breast Centers being in infancy are the main factors contributing to the breast cancer turning into an epidemic mainly in urban India.

ABSICON 2012, the First International Congress of The Association of Breast Surgeons of India (ABSI) being held in association with the World renowned European Society of Breast Cancer Specialists (EUSOMA) from 18¬20 May 2012 aims to address some of the issues highlighted above. The Congress aims to Discuss, Involve, Engage and Empower delegates about the best practice guidelines about every aspect of breast cancer and benign breast disease, and equally, highlight the importance of Specialist Breast Centers & the Subspecialty of Breast Surgery and 'Organ based specialization' in significantly improving breast healthcare in India. Some 250 Surgeons & Multidisciplinary Professionals involved in the management of breast cancer from all over India and world renowned Breast Cancer Specialists from abroad are participating in this International Congress being held for the FIRST time in INDIA. The theme for ABSICON 2012 is BREAST HEALTHCARE IN INDIA - TIME FOR A PARADIGM CHANGE'.

Dr. P.V. Chalapathi Rao, The Patron of the Congress and the FIRST arid Only Surgeon from Andhra Pradesh to have ever served as National President of Association of Surgeons of India welcomed the gathering. Dr. P. Raghu Ram, Founder Honorary Secretary of Association of Breast Surgeons of India (ABSI) and Chairman, Organizing Committee of ABSICON 2012 remarked that having seen fist hand his mother's fight against breast cancer, he was determined to bring to India the concept of Specialist Breast Centers and work alongside like-minded Colleagues in ensuring Breast surgery developing as a Subspecialty in a Country that he was born and raised.

Dr. Raghu Ram expressed his profound gratitude to all the Surgeons from across India who has seconded his proposal to establish a dedicated Breast Surgical Society along the lines of the American Society of Breast Surgeons (ASBS), Association of Breast Surgeons of UK (ABS). Dr. Devendra Patel, Founder President of ABSI outlined the evolution of ABSI, congratulated all the surgeons from across India who have joined the Association and expressed confidence that in the fullness of time Breast surgery will emerge as a Subspecialty in India.

Dr. Chintamani, President Elect of ABSI highlighted the various initiatives undertaken by ABSI in North, South, East & West zones of the Country which has sensitized the surgical Community all over India within one year about the Mission and aims of this newly formed Association. He said that thus far some 500 Surgeons from all over India had joined the Association. Professor Ramakant, National President of Association of Surgeons of India (ASI) which represents some 15, 000 surgeons across India, appreciated Or Raghu Ram's vision and reiterated the unwavering support of the Association of Surgeons of India to ABSI in accomplishing its goals. He also expressed confidence that ASBI, in not too distant a future, will emerge as the fastest growing Subspecialty Surgical Association in India.

The Chief Guest at the Inaugural Function, Mr.Nadendla Manohar, Hon'ble Speaker, AP Legislative Assembly paid rich tributes to Or Raghu Ram for conceiving and establishing the Association of Breast Surgeons of India along with like-minded colleagues practicing the art & science of breast surgery from across the Country. Mr. Mike Nithavrianakis, British Deputy High Commissioner for Southern India, the Guest of honor commended Dr. Raghu Ram for bringing to India the best practices relating to Breast cancer care from the UK and for establishing the Country's FIRST free standing purpose built comprehensive Breast Health Centre at KIMS. He expressed confidence in Or Raghu Ram's vision & seconded his view that ABSI will serve as a Benchmark Organization in overseeing the development of Breast Surgery as a Subspecialty in India. He said that in the UK, when someone has a lump in the breast, the General Practitioner refers the patient not to a General Surgeon but to a BREAST SURGEON who is trained specifically in the management of breast disease. He opined that a day will cane when the same would happen in India.

In a first of its kind initiative in India, Padmasree awardee, a well-known dancer and breast cancer 'conqueror', Dr. Ananada Shankar Jayant gave a remarkable unique, innovative & breathtaking performance combined with a talk preceding the Inauguration about her journey in the fight against breast cancer. Titled `BREAST CANCER - JUST A PAGE IN MY LIFE', she highlighted through dance interspersed with speech highlighting the importance of COUNSELING whilst dealing with a patent diagnosed with breast cancer (an issue badly neglected in our Country), and equally, outlined the significant impact that can be created by priming the community and empowering them about importance of early detection of breast cancer, which will go a long way in improving the long term survival from the disease.

Professor Laszlo Tabar, widely considered to be the 'god father' of Breast Radiology was honored at the Congress Inaugural ceremony for having delivered the FIRST ABSI ANNUAL ORATION. Professor John Forbes (Australia), Dr.Mattia Intra (Italy), Dr.Venkat Ramakrishnan (UK) , Dr.Jayant Vaidya (UK), Dr.Robin Wilson (UK), Dr.Amen Buzdar (USA) and many other world renowned experts will be participating in this Congress.

The HYDERABAD STATEMENT that will be released at the end of the Conference will outline WHAT YOU CAN LEARN OVER A WEEKEND AND APPLY THE BEST EVIDENCE BASED PRACTICES THE FOLLOWING WEEK STRAIGHT AWAY IN THE CARE FOR PATIENTS WITH BREAST DISEASE'.
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