The inception of the cultural and scientific project of a European School of Oncology (ESO) derived from an original and detailed vision of Umberto Veronesi. At the time, he held the position of scientific director of the National Cancer Institute of Milan, and presented his idea at the congress of the European Society of Surgical Oncology (ESSO) held in Lausanne in 1981. The background for the concept of an ESO was the alarming realization of American and European epidemiologists in the 1980s that a large proportion of cancer mortality resulted not from the innate aggressiveness of the various forms of neoplasms but was due to the fact that diagnoses were being made too late or treatment was unsuitable. Consequently, his conviction was that the fight against cancer could be improved, first and foremost by optimizing the training and updating the knowledge of those physicians and other health workers dealing with cancer patients. To reach this aim Veronesi envisaged that a permanent interdisciplinary and international school should be founded, and that it should be keeping with the medical traditions of the Old Continent of Europe. In many respects it was to be similar to the American tradition, however in many other respects quite distinct from it particularly with regard to the relationship between doctor and patient. Since no single European Country had the knowledge or the structure required for the universality and completeness of such a project, only a permanent European school would be able to meet the necessary high standards.
- Continuing medical education
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