UroTarget Conference: Driving Advances in Multidisciplinary Uro-Oncology Care in Latin America - Cecilia Atencio

December 21, 2022

Cecilia Atencio reflects on her journey with UroTarget, a multidisciplinary conference that evolved from a local gathering into an international event, paralleling the advancements in radiotherapy within Mendoza, from 3D-CRT to the cutting-edge IGRT and radiosurgery. She highlights the conference's role in fostering education, encouraging the integration of young professionals and women into uro-oncology, and emphasizing the importance of multidisciplinary communication and collaboration for patient care.


Cecilia Atencio, MD, Servicio de Radioterapia de Oncología Radioterápica, FUSEMAN

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Cecilia Atencio: Hello everyone. I am Cecilia Atencio, a radiation oncologist at the Nuclear Medicine School Foundation of Mendoza, and I have been a member of the UroTarget team for seven years.

UroTarget is a multidisciplinary conference that, when it first started, was a local, small conference, and then it grew, keeping in step with technology and the medicine of the region. As a radiation oncologist, I also play a role in the education and training of resident physicians, especially in these types of multidisciplinary conferences where, together, as friends and colleagues, we can work and study for the good of our patients.

As the Conference grew from being small to becoming international, radiotherapy in Mendoza has also been growing. It went from 3D-CRT to IMRT in the last ten years, and then in the past two and a half years, it went from IMRT to IGRT. We have started doing radiosurgery, and we are now at the same level as the best hospitals worldwide.

For our patients, it is important. For me, I am proud to be able to say this about Mendoza. And above all, it has been a driving force and an incentive to continue studying and taking part with the doctors who visit us at the end of every year, in October or November, from different parts of Argentina and Latin America, for the growth of uro-oncology and oncology in general. One issue I think is crucial, apart from the personal study of… from the individual curiosity that each of us has, whether you are an oncologist, a radiologist, a radiation oncologist, a nurse, or an admin.

Each of us who plays a role in the treatment of a cancer patient needs to communicate with each other. We need to be able to work together and, if possible, meet once a week to discuss difficult or complex cases; to strengthen the protocols, update the protocols of the simpler or more common cases.

The conference is extremely important for the role and participation of young people in this field of work, the role of women, too, even though it has been a specialty… Uro-oncology tends to be somewhat male-oriented. Women also suffer from this pathology. And the female doctor has to step up, and it’s good that we work together with our colleagues in order to offer perhaps a more feminine point of view for those female patients who feel more comfortable or other patients who feel more comfortable with a woman.

I believe that communication is crucial among the different specialties and the benefit of multidisciplinary discussions, taking advantage of what was learned from the pandemic when everything became virtual. Taking advantage of those tools and returning to what we missed, which are the in-person meetings among friends, who are now stronger and leave a stronger impression on each of us.

I want to thank UroToday, basically for being present in the region, in the Spanish language for the first time. I want to thank each of our friends who have traveled and made an effort to come to Mendoza, which is deep inside Argentina. It’s not easy, and well... I want to think that this will continue to grow, that we will continue to keep up-to-date, that we will continue to study, and that we will be up to the task of giving our patients care as good as they can get anywhere else, in any corner of our country.