Hundreds of healthcare professionals from across the Gulf are gathering this weekend in Dubai to take part in the UAE's first fully comprehensive cancer congress, which will see presentations on a wide range of diseases including breast cancer, lung cancer, gastro-intestinal cancer, liver cancer, blood cancer and bone health.
The congress is being held by the Emirates Oncology Society (EOS) under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai, Minister of Finance and UAE President of Dubai Health Authority. It is also approved by the European Society of Medical Oncology.
The overarching theme of the meeting will be the multidisciplinary approach to cancer management, whereby doctors, nurses and allied healthcare professionals play an equal role in patient care, working and learning as a team.
In line with this, delegates will be made up of oncologists, surgeons, radiologists, pathologists, family doctors, nurses, social workers and physiotherapists who will attend lectures by international and Gulf experts on best practice in the screening, diagnosis, treatment and after care of cancer which is the leading cause of death worldwide. 
"It is tremendously exciting that we are holding the first fully comprehensive cancer congress for all those working with cancer patients in the Gulf. Taking a multidisciplinary approach to cancer care has been shown to be best practice in all types of cancer management and it is in this spirit that delegates attending the conference will come from a wide-range of healthcare disciplines," said President of the Congress, Dr. Shaheenah Dawood, Senior Medical Oncologist in Dubai and member of the EOS.
A special feature of the conference will be US-style daily "Tumour Boards", where delegates will be invited to take part in discussions on anonymous cancer cases; talking through the diagnosis using imaging and pathology reports to determine best treatment.
"The tumour boards are an integral part of cancer care in the US and have been shown to improve the development of individualized treatment plans, which ultimately have a positive impact on long-term survival," added Dr. Dawood.
"By bringing these boards here we hope to stimulate interesting discussions, allowing active participation of all those involved in the management of cancer: From the family practitioner, who typically is the first person to see the patient, to the oncologist who decides on diagnosis and treatment and the nurses and allied healthcare professionals who assist patients to recover from, and live with, their illness," she explained.
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