Monday, September 28, 2015

A Great Way to Learn

If you have never been to an Ovarian Cancer Survivors Course given by the Foundation for Women's Cancer then you have missed out on a great opportunity to learn the latest about ovarian cancer - what we know about the disease, the lastest and best treatments and how to take care of yourself through all stages of the disease. I have been to three of these courses in the past 10 years, most recently on Sept 16th in Morristown, NJ. 

About 75 people attended the  course which was held at the Carol G Simon Cancer Center at Morristown Medical Center. There were survivors, caregivers, family, social workers and a number of ovarian cancer organizations in the audience. I was happy to see friends and fellow survivors manning the information tables of the Kaleidoscope of Hope Foundation , the NJ chapter of the NOCC, SHARE and Cancer Support Community.

After a welcome by Dr Daniel Tobias, Director of the Woman's Cancer Center, and listening to his patient, Theresa,  discussed how she dealt with her diagnosis, the Course began.

Dr Ilana Cass - Ovarian Cancer:Is Progress Being Made
Dr Allison Wagreich -Genetic Risk and Prevention of Ovarian Cancer 

Nana Tchabo -Clinical Trials and New Treatments

Dr Mark Einstein- The Importance of Being Treated by a Gynecologic Oncologists (l) , Dr Micheal Pearl - Supportive Care the Women with Cancer (center) and Dr Daniel Tobias during the question and answer period. 
Just a few of the important points shared during the Course :
  • Surgery by gynecologic oncologists  who do large numbers of patients can improve survival.
  • Neoadjuvant chemotherapy is not inferior to primary debulking surgery.
  • The Cancer Genome Atlas  has provided information on genes responsible for OC.
  • Exercise can improve quality of life which improves survival.
  • Familial cancer syndromes include BRCA1,2 and Lynch Syndrome.
  • 3-7% of the women with the BRCA mutations undergoing Risk Reducing Surgery were found to have cancer in their tissue.
  • Clinical trials are NOT the last resort. 
  • Making progress against cancer is dependent on clinical trials
  • "Palliative Care is appropriate at any time during management of a serious illness." 
  • Palliative Care is beneficial, improves survival and reduces cost.  

Check for future courses here.

Every Day is a Blessing! Blessed that the Foundation for Women's Cancer mission is to educate survivors and caregivers.

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