Attending Breast Cancer Symposiums, Conferences and Research and Advocacy Seminars will Help Keep You in the Forefront Of Your Cancer

Soon after completing all of my treatment for male breast cancer I knew I was determined to stay on top of my cancer going forward.  I know there are many advancements in finding cures for all types of cancers and I am committed to learning everything possible about my cancer diagnosis.   Whether it happens to be in the area of new drugs or vaccines to keep my cancer from returning or metastasizing, or new techniques for radiation therapy, I want to know.   

For several years prior to my breast cancer diagnosis my wife worked for a local organization that specializes in helping anyone going through the breast cancer journey.  Through this organization I learned of a breast cancer symposium designed to help me (and other patients) to stay current with what was taking place with my cancer.  This was an all-day event where many professionals in the field shared with us their expertise in a number of related areas.  This symposium was mostly designed for those professionals involved in the field, although of the 100 plus in attendance, there were other breast cancer survivors.  A few of the topics that were discussed included;

  1. Current research to end breast cancer
  2. The biology of breast cancer
  3. Breast cancer classifications and treatment strategies
  4. Breast cancer immunology and the potential for immunotherapy
  5. Who’s at increased risk for breast cancer and how do we know this?
  6. Protecting human subjects in research

 Prior to attending this symposium I received a great amount of reading material which proved invaluable to me so that I had a better understanding of these topics.  Even though this was designed mostly for those involved in some facet of breast cancer care, I found that most of what I heard made sense thanks to my prior readings.

Later this year I will be attending another symposium presented by the same organization only this time I was asked to be a panelist along with a genetic counselor to discuss the genetic component to breast cancer.  This will be gratifying for me as I also carry a BRCA2 gene mutation.   Our preliminary plan is to share with this group the need to ask questions of your doctor at your annual physicals and to share with your health care provider whether you have cancers in your family or certain cancers that family or relatives encountered early in their lives.  This year’s symposium will dedicate more time to the genetic risks of cancer and I am glad to be part of it.

My reason for sharing this story is to let other breast cancer survivors know that there are most likely places within your communities that offer similar kinds of symposiums and conferences where you can learn more about your cancer and remain up to date on new and trending cures for cancer.  Don’t be afraid to ask your healthcare providers, or contact advocacy groups to find these conferences.  From the genetics perspective it is quite possible you will learn more about the genetic risks of cancer and who knows, you just might help a family member or friend learn of the genetic screening that is available. 

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