What are we doing at this conference?
I’ve just returned from the 2012 ASCO Annual Meeting – one of the largest cancer-related conferences organized by the American Society of Clinical Oncology. It is my second ASCO Meeting and my fourth conference this year. It had me thinking about the sheer number of cancer-related conferences I have attended as a cancer patient, survivor, advocate, and Sharsheret staff member since I was first diagnosed with breast cancer 11 years ago. Let’s just say: I’ve collected (and donated!) more canvas bags and pens than I will ever be able to use.
In 2012 alone, Sharsheret staff members have attended or presented at more than 13 conferences nationwide – gatherings that have addressed cancer genetics, young women facing breast cancer, women living with ovarian cancer, cancer and culture, and survivorship.
Why do we do it? Because the information we learn and the connections we make all benefit you – the women and families of Sharsheret. Whether we hear about new research in cancer care or find an organization that can provide you with a resource you may need over time, every conference offers us new “nuggets” to improve the services and care we provide our Sharsheret community.
Below, I’ve answered some of the questions you may have about cancer conferences. If you’ve got any others, please feel free to contact me directly at [email protected]. And if you decide to join us on the road, rest assured you’ll leave with “nuggets” of your own . . . and, at the very least, a new canvas bag.
What do we do at the conferences we attend?
Sharsheret staff members attend conferences as students, presenters, and exhibitors. Our clinical staff members bring back new research, resources, and services that can benefit the families we serve. As presenters, we share Sharsheret’s best practices with the national cancer and Jewish communities. At exhibit halls, we connect with other advocacy organizations, health care providers, and Jewish community liaisons to broaden Sharsheret’s reach.
How can I access information and research that is presented at a conference?
In addition to connecting with our staff, many major conference organizers share slides, presentations, or videos with the public after a conference. Visit the conference website to see if materials will be available to you. For example, if you want to learn more about the breast cancer or ovarian research presented at the ASCO meeting this year, visit www.cancer.net for short summaries. Always contact your health care provider with any questions you may have about your own health.
How can I determine if a cancer conference is right for me?
We let you know about upcoming conferences that might be of interest to you on our website and in our bi-monthly e-updates. Feel free to call us for more information and to discuss whether a particular conference may be of interest to you.
Can I afford to attend a conference?
Many conferences offer scholarships or travel waivers and some conferences are even free of charge. You can find more information by going to the conference website, or speaking directly to the person organizing the event who may be able to accommodate your financial circumstances.
Know of a conference we should attend?
Share it with us! We appreciate learning about important conferences in your community. Many of our volunteers help us distribute materials at conferences nationwide. Contact Rebecca Schwartz, Director of Community Engagement, at [email protected] with conference details.