Serving as an acknowledgement of her research and the international status which she has gained through this work, Professor Lynette Denny has been invited to be part of an international committee responsible for the production of guidelines for the diagnosis and management of gynaecological cancers.
Denny will serve on the International Federation of Gynaecology and Obstetrics's (FIGO) Gynaecological Oncology Committee until 2006. She will be involved in the publication of the organisation's annual report on the results and treatment of gynaecological cancers.
A unique feature of the report is that it allows for the collection of data (approximately 4 500 cases) from over 20 countries, enabling a worldwide picture to be obtained for each cancer site of the female reproductive system.
According to Denny, the report inspires further research questions and informs therapeutic practice while allowing comparisons to be made between different countries.
"Our department of obstetrics and gynaecology produces their own booklet, based on FIGO's uniform staging guidelines, and in this way we offer feedback from South Africa. It is also used by doctors throughout the country."
Denny's contribution to the committee is valued in that she brings her expertise of a situation unique to South Africa.
"In South Africa our patients are poor and come from a low-resource setting, but once we have them in our unit they have access to very advanced surgery procedures and treatment options. We are, however, limited in terms of the number of patients we can receive.
"As the other members come from high-resource settings, the committee wanted someone with a significant patient load who was in touch with issues facing poorer countries."
Commenting on Denny's appointment, head of department Professor Zephne van der Spuy said: "FIGO policies remain central to our gynaecological practice and to have someone from UCT and Groote Schuur involved in the development of these policies is extremely important for our faculty."
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