August 28, 2009

Conferences focus on cancer survivorship

Conferences focus on cancer survivorship

There are nearly 12 million cancer survivors in the United States, but they often don’t have the information and the educational tools they need to thrive following cancer treatment.

Cancer survivors and family members will have a chance to learn more about survivorship during two free conferences, Saturday, Sept. 12, from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., in the Vanderbilt Student Life Center. The conferences will operate concurrently.

The Survive & Thrive Childhood Cancer Conference is designed for parents of childhood cancer patients and survivors, as well as teachers, health care professionals and other adults whose lives have been touched by childhood cancer. Workshops will include information about long-term effects, nutrition and exercise, cognitive issues, school re-entry, family relationships and legal issues.

The Survive & Thrive Conference for Young Adults offers survivors in their late teens, 20s and 30s the opportunity to connect and learn from experts on young adult cancer issues. The event includes information about planning for life after cancer, nutritional health, relationships and intimacy and legal issues. A welcome mixer Friday evening will be hosted by Gilda’s Club Nashville. ID is required.

Heidi Adams, founder of Planet Cancer, is the featured speaker for both conferences. Planet Cancer is a community of young adults with cancer.
Debra Friedman, M.D., medical director of the REACH for Survivorship Program at Vanderbilt University Medical Center, will discuss planning for life after cancer at both conferences. Other presenters include Travis Bowles, M.D., Amy Potter, M.D., Kimberly Petersen, R.D., Sylvie Aubin, Ph.D., Brandon Hayes-Lattin, M.D., Maureen Sanger, Ph.D., and Tiffany Sirikulvadhana.

Both events are free but seating is limited and pre-registration is required. Participants may call 936-0322 or register online at Parking is free in the 25th Avenue Garage.

The conferences are sponsored by The Jeff Gordon Foundation, Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center, Monroe Carell Jr. Children's Hospital at Vanderbilt, The Minnie Pearl Cancer Foundation and Gilda’s Club Nashville.