Liz O’Riordan is an international speaker, best-selling author and podcaster. In 2015, aged 40, she was diagnosed with Stage 3 breast cancer whilst working as a consultant breast surgeon. She co-wrote ‘The Complete Guide to Breast Cancer: How to Feel Empowered and Take Control’ in 2018.A local recurrence in 2018 forced her to retire as a surgeon, and she now educates breast cancer patients all over the world with educational videos. Her memoir, ‘Under The Knife’, was released in July 2023, and her podcast ‘Don’t Ignore The Elephant’ that talks about the things no-one else does, like sex, death and body image.
Topics in Detail
Improving The Quality Of Cancer Care
I’ve seen cancer from both sides of the operating table.I realised that I that I wasn’t always giving my patients what they really needed.It’s all about communication. Little things can make a huge difference to someone’s life.I talk about the things that no-one else will:Sex and intimacyFear of recurrence and deathThe power of exercise “Genuinely the most powerful talk I have ever heard. Time just stood still in the room as you spoke and the clinicians in the room certainly sat up and listened, and I believe, took your words totally to heart.”Gini Melesi , Macmillan Quality Improvement Manager
” learned so much about the patient perspective and survivorship from Liz. Everyone who looks after breast cancer patients should hear her speak.”Rhea Liang, Australian breast surgeon
“It was honestly like you turned a light on and gave voice to experiences I have literally pushed away since my diagnosis two years ago. You have also validated my hunches that exercise is essential and that I deserve a better sex life.”Breast cancer patient
Smart phones are changing medicine as we know it. Artificial Intelligence and deep learning are being used to transform how scans are reported and patients are diagnosed.We are living in the era of the e-patient. The traditional doctor-patient relationship is being turned on its head.Health care providers must make certain that the patient’s voice remains at the forefront of this revolution, and that every patient can benefit it.“Participants went away feeling challenged but energised to think a fresh about how to engage with the patient”Alison Singleton, NHS Digital Academy
How To Cope When Things Go Wrong
I’ve faced some tough times in my life. Bullying, harassment, depression and cancer. I’ve learned how to pick myself up every time with a toolbox of tricks, from my Jar of Joy to the Wheel of Life.I’ve chatted to children about resilience through Speakers for Schools, and taught healthcare leaders and managers how to lead a more balanced life.“Her talk was fascinating, humbling and inspiring. I have been truly effected by this talk.”Dr Sandeep Mtharu, GP“Brilliant.
I felt like becoming a proper doctor again.”Medical Student
“Liz was fabulous – engaging, frank and personal in her approach. The students have been excitedly speaking about her talk all day. They said the highlight of the event was her approach, enthusiasm and honesty.”Speakers for Schools