Haverford, PA., April 6, 2011 – Breast cancer is curable if diagnosed within the first three stages. But stage IV metastatic breast cancer is not curable, and women living with this disease face year-long treatment decisions depending on how the cancer, which spreads to distant parts of the body, reacts to the varying courses of treatment. In efforts to educate these women about the disease, Living Beyond Breast Cancer (LBBC) will host its Annual Conference for Women Living with Metastatic Breast Cancer:Enhancing Your Health and Quality of Life at the Loews Hotel Philadelphia on Saturday, April 30 and Sunday, May 1, 2011. This conference is just one of many resources that LBBC offers that cater to women living with all forms of breast cancer.
Breast cancer is considered metastatic (often referred to as Stage IV) when it spreads from the breast(s) to other parts of the body, such as the bones, liver, lungs or brain. While many forms of breast cancer are curable if diagnosed within the first three stages, metastatic breast cancer is not. Women living with this disease face nearly constant treatment decisions depending on how the cancer reacts to varying treatment protocols. An estimated 150,000 to 250,000 women in the United States alone are living with metastatic breast cancer.
The conference, which annually attracts attendees from across the country, will feature a variety of workshops that focus on the specific concerns of women living with this type of cancer. Workshops will introduce topics such as confronting difficult decisions, managing symptoms and side effects of treatment, coping methods for single women with metastatic disease and effective ways to manage stress and anxiety. Workshops for caregivers will also be conducted. Participants will have the opportunity to address questions about treatment, research and quality-of-life concerns to an ask-the-expert panel composed of the nation’s top healthcare providers. Featured special guests will also be on hand to discuss their personal experiences with metastatic breast cancer.
“Many women living with metastatic breast cancer feel isolated, marginalized and alone,” said Jean A. Sachs, MSS, MLSP, chief executive officer of Living Beyond Breast Cancer. “Support and information networks for breast cancer survivors generally focus on early-stage disease, and resources specific to metastatic disease are often scattered, disorganized and hard to find. To address this gap, we’ve launched programs specific to women with Stage IV breast cancer including this national conference.”
Travel grants and fee waivers are available to eligible individuals to offset the $75 registration. The conference is supported by Amgen, Eisai Oncology and Susan G. Komen for the Cure. To register or for more information, visit lbbc.org or call Living Beyond Breast Cancer at (610) 645-4567.
About Living Beyond Breast Cancer (LBBC)
Founded in 1991, LBBC is a national nonprofit organization dedicated to empowering all women affected by breast cancer to live as long as possible with the best quality of life. Programs and services include an educational website (lbbc.org), a toll-free Survivors’ Helpline ((888) 753-LBBC (5222)), national conferences, free teleconferences, networking programs, quarterly newsletters, publications for medically underserved women, healthcare-provider trainings, recordings and the Paula A. Seidman Library & Resource Center.
About the Annual Conference for Women with Metastatic Breast Cancer Speakers:
Ruth Oratz, MD, FACP specializes in treating women with breast cancer at The Women’s Oncology and Wellness Practice in New York City. Treatments for metastatic breast cancer can delay progression, prolong life, relieve cancer-related symptoms and improve overall quality of life. Dr. Oratz will explain the three major treatment options for metastatic breast cancer that include hormonal therapy, targeted therapy and chemotherapy and how they can be used despite unique circumstances.
Robert A. Somer, MD is a board certified medical oncologist, clinical director of the medical oncology clinical trial program and associate director of the Cooper Breast Cancer Center. Dr. Somer’s session is relevant to recent concerns that surround FDA’s decision to approve or deny certain drugs. He will give insight on and discuss the different types of approval, the initial application, the research process, and what they mean to women who face metastatic disease.
Marilyn Brine Gilmour, MSW, LICSW is a licensed clinical social worker specializing in psychological trauma and loss. She will offer suggestions to help women respond to feelings of isolation so that they can play a more active role in their self-care and emotional well-being. Through ways of peer support, she will help women explore ways to meet their unique needs and teach them why it is viable to be proactive in a circle of support.