‘We’re doing the best we can’: UT Health SA breast oncologist says annual symposium going virtual due to Covid-19

Dr. Kaklamani joins Leading SA to discuss the 2020 San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium

UT Health San Antonio breast oncologist says annual breast cancer symposium going virtual due to Covid-19

SAN ANTONIO – Even though the year 2020 has revolved around the coronavirus pandemic, that doesn’t all other diseases have disappeared.

Breast cancer is a form of cancer we hear about often, but there is still so much that researchers and physicians are learning about it every day.

Dr. Virginia Kaklamani, breast oncologist at UT Health San Antonio MD Anderson Cancer Center, joined Leading SA on Sunday to discuss breast cancer research developments and more on the virtual 2020 San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium that will be held this week.

“This is the largest breast cancer symposium in the world, that started over 42 years ago here in San Antonio, in a room right by the airport with 20 local oncologists learning about breast cancer. And now, we have more than 8,000 people from over 90 countries coming to San Antonio this year. It’s going to be virtual because of covid, but we’re hosting it starting on Tuesday. And, it’s the largest group of research that is going to be coming out that’s going to change the standard of care come two weeks from now,” Dr. Virginia Kaklamani said.

The symposium may have a different format this year with it going virtual; however, Dr. Kaklamani said attendees are doing the best they can to still hold live sessions, discussions and bring the latest research to the world.

We’re hosting a virtual meeting. All of our meetings now since April have been virtual. And this is a big issue because one of the strengths of the symposium is having people come together, having people see each other, discuss things. And during those discussions is where new ideas come and new research comes. But we’ve tried to do the best we can. We have live sessions. We have a lot of questions and answers that researchers can participate in. We have roundtable discussions. And so we’re hoping that, again, with the limitations of covid, we’re doing the best we can to be able to bring all the latest research to the world,” Dr. Virginia Kaklamani said.

Despite the uptick in coronavirus cases statewide and nationwide, Dr. Kaklamani said it’s still important for patients to get their cancer screenings, as it can lead to an early diagnosis.

“Screening is extremely important. This is how we diagnose breast cancer early and this is how we can cure it more. We have 40,000 women and men die of breast cancer in the U.S. every year alone. So it’s extremely important that we prevent those deaths,” Dr. Kaklamani said.

You can watch the full Leading SA interview with Dr. Kaklamani in the video player above.

RELATED: ‘Get that mammogram, don’t put it off,’ says breast cancer patient who waited to be screened

About the Author:

Max Massey is the GMSA weekend anchor and a general assignments reporter. Max has been live at some of the biggest national stories out of Texas in recent years, including the Sutherland Springs shooting, Hurricane Harvey and the manhunt for the Austin bomber. Outside of work, Max follows politics and sports, especially Penn State, his alma mater.