Désfalvi assists breast cancer patients with daily counselling and also leads, with a co-worker, bi-weekly self-help group sessions. This year’s choice of awardee is intended to demonstrate the importance and vital role of the work of those who offer psychological support for breast cancer patients during healing.

The award includes a grant to cover the costs of travel to and participation at the San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium, in Texas, US. The symposium is designed to provide the latest information on research, prevention and treatment of breast cancer to an international audience of physicians and researchers. This year’s event runs from December 5-9.

The Nancy Brinker Award was established at the initiative of Nancy Goodman Brinker, who was US Ambassador to Hungary from September 2001 to June 2003 and President of the Susan G. Komen Foundation, as well as another former Ambassador to Hungary Eleni Kounalakis, who held the office from January 2010 to July 2013. The Susan G. Komen Foundation is an organisation addressing breast cancer.

The award was established seven years ago and is annually presented to a Hungarian health-care professional treating or researching breast cancer. At this year’s award ceremony, last year’s awardee, Dr. Róbert Maráz, a surgeon and radiologist of the Bács-Kiskun County Hospital, gave a presentation on the novelties he had learnt about at the 2016 San Antonio conference that can be transferred into the practice of breast cancer treatment in Hungary.

“We learned about the most modern therapies in San Antonio,” Maráz said. “The largest trials are conducted in the United States, and the results of several of the most recent clinical trials were first presented at the symposium. Seven thousand five hundred professionals attend this congress every year, which makes it the single largest symposium in the world.”

Charge d'Affaires Kostelancik told the guests that the US Embassy was proud to be a partner of the Bridge of Health Alliance in the fight against cancer, a tradition that had begun when Ambassador Brinker launched her Bridge Walk initiative in 2002. The award had been first presented in 2010 by former Ambassador Kounalakis to reward outstanding performance by a Hungarian medical professional above and beyond the call of duty in the treatment of breast cancer.
Kostelancik said he was honored to present the 8th annual Nancy Brinker Award to Judit Désfalvi, of the Semmelweis Oncology Clinic and a volunteer for the Pink Bolero peer support group. whose dedication to improving the quality of life of patients and survivors was remarkable. He said she voluntarily organises and participates in an oncotherapy peer support group that helps those diagnosed with cancer. By being part of a protective network made up of medical professionals, patients and survivors, she provided invaluable psychosocial support to patients in need. In the meantime, she had also pursued her educational goals, and was working on two PhDs in the field of oncopsychology.
The Nancy Brinker Award application process is managed by the US Embassy in Budapest and the Women’s Health Empowerment Program. According to “Medical News Today”, breast cancer is the most common invasive cancer in women, and the second main cause of cancer death in women, after lung cancer. Breast cancer occurs mainly in women but men can get it, too.

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