By Dr. Jason Alcorn
What a fantastic conference with each day offering a sumptuous feast of quality presentations and thought-provoking discussions. In my view, the session “Adapting follow-up kidney cancer patients’ needs” lived up to the phrase saving the best for last. A panel of experts consisting of Mrs. Corinne Tillier (NL), Prof. Axel Bex (GB), Ms. Marta Marchetti (GB) was complemented by the patient voice from Mrs. Mary Stopher (GB). Ms. Ana Semedo (GB) and I chaired the session.
The opening presentation by Mrs. Tillier led us into the chaotic world of kidney follow-up protocols showing us that there is no consensus on the optimum follow-up for the patients. There is a wide range of how follow-up is undertaken, what imaging modality is used, and what barriers prevent consensus development.
The presentation offered three case studies for the panel to discuss. We were guided into different imaging modalities, their benefits, and their limitations. Importantly, we were treated to the most powerful thing, the patient’s voice. This insightful offering showed the difficulties in managing patients’ anxiety and the importance of patient education.
The cases were eye-opening; the audience learned about the difficulties that the patients faced with no agreed follow-up and the anxieties the situations can cause. The audience was left to surmise whose benefit is to be pursued and prioritised – the clinician’s or the patients’? – and what will be the consequences. Should the approach be face-to-face or by other means? A definite key message from this discussion was that the decision between the patient and the clinician should be individualised.