2021 Keynote Address
Liz O'Riordan, FRCS, PhD, PG Dip (Oncoplastic Surgery)
Liz is a consultant breast surgeon who was diagnosed with Stage 3 breast cancer in 2015 at the age of 40. She started an award-winning blog about her experiences as a doctor and a patient (www.liz.oriordan.co.uk) which led to her lecturing internationally about how to improve the quality of patient care. Her TEDx Stuttgart talk, 'Jar of Joy' focuses on how to help someone diagnosed with cancer. She was nominated in the UK for a 'Woman of the Year' award and was one of Medscape's Top 20 doctors in 2018. In 2018 she had a loco-regional recurrence on her chest wall and the side effects of further surgery and radiotherapy meant that she had to retire as a surgeon.
She co-authored the award-winning 'The Complete Guide to Breast Cancer: How to Feel Empowered and Take Control' (Penguin) with Professor Trisha Greenhalgh in 2018. It covers diagnosis to death and everything in between whilst sharing the authors' stories with humour and humility. She has had multiple appearances on UK TV and radio, has written for national press and has been featured in magazines such as 'The Atlantic'.
Liz received her medical training in the University of Wales College of Medicine, Cardiff in 1998 and stayed there to complete a PhD in the molecular oncology of thyroid cancer after her junior surgical training. She moved to East Anglia for her higher surgical training and was awarded a prestigious oncoplastic fellowship at the Royal Marsden Hospital, London in 2012. She co-edited 'Cracking the Intercollegiate FRCS Viva' using her maiden name (Ball) and after finishing a PG Dip in Oncoplastic Surgery she started as a consultant surgeon in Ipswich in 2013.
She had to find other ways to help people since she retired. As a keen triathlete and cyclist, she is passionate about the benefits of exercise for cancer patients and has just launched a charity, CancerFit (www.cancerfit.me) to help inspire and encourage people to stay active during and after treatment. Liz also works part-time as a public health consultant reviewing the notes of patients who have died in hospital and shares that learning to improve the care of dying patients. She has also set up an international WhatsApp group for doctors with cancer to share their unique experience of being on both sides of the table. In the very little spare time she has left she helps rescue hedgehogs.
The meeting's keynote address is supported by The American Society of Breast Surgeons Foundation.