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- 6 September 2022 -

Dr Fatima Cardoso honoured with ESMO Women for Oncology Award 2022

The ESMO Women for Oncology Award recognises an ESMO member or a recognised institution that has significantly contributed to supporting the career of women working in oncology.

The 2022 ESMO Women for Oncology Award was presented to Fatima Cardoso, Director of the Breast Unit of the Champalimaud Clinical Center (CCC) in Lisbon (Portugal) and President of the Advanced Breast Cancer (ABC) Global Alliance, for her outstanding commitment to oncology and patients. Cardoso forged her way in oncology, becoming a role model to a whole generation of women working in oncology in Portugal and beyond.

Fatima Cardoso will deliver her Award Lecture during the ESMO Congress 2022 Opening Ceremony on Friday, 9 September 2022, entitled “Women’s rights and gender balance: one step forward, two steps back!”.

Fatima Cardoso, on receiving this award: “I am very honoured to receive the 2022 ESMO W4O Award. Motivating, educating and helping other female oncologists and students has been a central part of my career, and one that has very rewarding. It is a pleasure (and a little bit of proud) to see former fellows reaching leadership positions”.

And she continues: “Women now represent more than 80% of the workforce in healthcare but in leadership positions they still represent only about 20-30%. Gender balance is widely discussed but remains an unsolved problem. Why? I believe we all need to reflect carefully on the reasons and potential solutions. Are women really sufficiently helping each other, with real action, not just words?”

She adds: “The last few years, we have also seen frighting steps back in women’s rights, from Afghanistan to the United States, and in the terrible Ukrainian situation.”

And she concludes: “I have dedicated my life to the fight against breast cancer, the most “gender imbalanced” cancer that exists!. Whilst never forgetting the needs of the 1% of male breast cancer patients - both through research, quality of care and advocacy -, it has mostly been with all the wonderful women I have known that I have learnt the most important lessons as an oncologist and as a human being. Breast cancer has taken too soon the lives of so many friends! A reminder that there is still so much to be done. It is to each of them, specially to all women with advanced/metastatic breast cancer, that I dedicate this award and the continuous promise to keep on fighting.”

Learn more about this award here.