From 18th to 21st of September, the First Euro-Asian Melanoma Congress was organized in Sarajevo by the Association for Prevention and Fight against Skin Cancer “Melanoma in BiH”. Presidents of the Congress were Doc. Dr. Reuf Karabeg, Dr. Hana Helppikangas, and Prof. Dr. Sibel Alper, and it covered topics from four areas of medicine – dermatology, histopathology, plastic surgery, and oncology.
The purpose of the Congress was to provide a complete and detailed understanding of all types and stages of skin cancer, including prevention, diagnosis, and primary treatment, treatment of diseases and metastases, as well as auxiliary therapies. Health professionals and patients had the opportunity to discuss melanoma guidelines, including detection, monitoring, excision, and treatment of skin cancer.
Chairman of the Congress, Dr. Hana Helppikangas, said at the press conference that they are working intensively on changing the awareness and on early skin cancer detection, especially when it comes to melanoma.
“As the crowning jewel of organizing the Euromelanoma for the past four years, where the Clinical Center, dermatologists, and plastic surgeons provide free examinations for the public, free excisions, where we save lives, change awareness, educate children in schools on UV radiation – the First Euro- Asian melanoma congress is the crowning jewel of all that work, and we are extremely pleased it is being held in Sarajevo, in Bosnia and Herzegovina, “said Dr. Helppikangas.
The President of the Congress Doc. Dr. Reuf Karabeg, said that they had more than 300 registered participants, 27 invited lecturers from around the world, and more than 60 students attending all lectures.
“We are proud of this event because each and every dermatologist, pathologist, oncologist, and plastic reconstructive surgeon in the world learned that the 1st Euro-Asian congress dedicated to melanoma and skin cancers was held in Sarajevo. All those who could gave their support and wanted to come,” said Doc. Dr. Karabeg, adding that the number of over 300 participants is something to be proud of.
“We are happy,” he added, “to have such a congress which will be held at the highest level, regardless of the difficult economic situation.”
“After exchanging experiences, addressing all the specific sub-disciplines, and making conclusions, we will be able to return to the institutions we come from, and bring much more to those who need it the most: our patients,” said Doc. Dr. Karabeg.
He added that, based on the carefully chosen topics, sessions, and selected moderators, this congress will not only be Euro-Asian, but world-wide.
Dr. Hana Helppikangas pointed out that Bosnia and Herzegovina does not have a unique registry, a melanoma center, i.e. that “there is no institution that would encompass and aggregate all the work we do”.
She expressed hope that a melanoma center will be the next step after the Congress, which is essential both for the patients and the doctors in terms of embodying the organization of work, skin cancer issues, especially melanoma.
“The point is for our patients as end-users to get an early diagnosis and be cured. The essence is in prevention and early detection,” added Dr. Reuf Karabeg.