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February 28, 2012 > Breast Cancer conference

Breast Cancer conference

Submitted By Jim Zelinski

Should women really receive annual mammograms? If so, at what age? Does breast cancer "run in the family?" What are the latest cutting edge treatments? How does this disease affect patients, families, friends and intimate relationships? What steps must patients and survivors take to protect financial resources? Are there different types of breast cancer?

The current controversies over cancer screenings, the role of genetics in breast cancer and treatment updates from more than two dozen health care professionals from multiple practices are just a few of the topics to be tackled at the the 11th Annual Allison Taylor Holbrooks/Barbara Jo Johnson Breast Cancer Conference on Saturday, March 3 at the Golden Gate Club in the Presidio - 135 Fisher Loop in San Francisco - sponsored by the Fremont, Calif.-based Cancer Prevention Institute of California (CPIC).

"This conference is a place for anyone to ask questions and get informed answers about issues connected to breast cancer," said Pam Priest Naeve, CPIC Director of Community Education. "The conference will provide medical and support resources and services from medical providers throughout the Bay Area. We selected these medical professionals because of their ability to distill often complex and challenging information into language anyone can understand. We also have two lay speakers who will discuss the family breast cancer gene and its implications for genetic testing and decision-making."

A panel discussion will complete the morning session. The afternoon will consist of ten seminars.

"Breast Cancer: Meeting the Challenge" will feature experienced cancer professionals who will address a range of issues from multiple and often controversial perspectives. Conference issues include screening, diagnosis, treatment, family issues, side effect management, informed decision-making, patient perspectives and community and national resources. Among the scheduled speakers is a father - a carrier of the breast cancer gene - whose daughter has breast cancer. His address is entitled: "A Family Inheritance."

"One of the most important topics to be addressed is patient/physician communication," said Naeve. "The inclusion of this topic in the annual conference is part of our organization's commitment to help people make informed decisions and to effectively advocate for themselves in a complicated and challenging medical system."

Patients and families are encouraged to attend. Admission is $20, which includes program registration, breakfast and lunch, and a resource room representing Bay Area agencies, support services and information.

Scholarships are available. Continuing education credits are available for registered nurses and social workers. No one will be turned away for lack of funds. The conference features medical experts from five Bay Area hospitals and universities as well as private practice and not-for profit agencies.

Experts will address how to talk to doctors, sexuality and intimacy; mood, hormones and depression; triple negative breast cancer; DCIS - ductal carcinoma in situ; family and patient issues and support; breast reconstruction; communication issues with family and friends; family genetics, managing treatment side effects and living with metastatic disease.

The program faculty includes speakers from California Pacific Medical Center, Stanford University, University of California San Francisco, Alexander Foundation for Women's Health, Palo Alto Medical Foundation, Sutter Pacific Medical Foundation, Mills-Peninsula Health Services, private practices, as well as perspectives from a father and a patient.

Naeve adds, "In addition to having talented speakers and timely topics, the conference provides an atmosphere of accessibility and information exchange, as well as peer and professional support. The speakers have diverse backgrounds that match their clinical and research expertise, and they speak in "language the public understands."

The annual conference was launched 11 years ago by Bay Area resident Barbara Johnson, shortly after her own diagnosis of breast cancer. In the last decade, more than 2,000 people have benefited from her vision of empowering patients with information and tools to make more intelligent decisions about their treatment options."

Breast Cancer Conference
Saturday, Mar 3
8:00 a.m. - 3:30 p.m.
Golden Gate Club in the Presidio
135 Fisher Loop, San Francisco
(888) 315-5988

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