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Conferences Annual Conference for Women Living with Metastatic Breast Cancer: Enhancing Your Health and Quality of Life

When:   Saturday, April 30, 2011 - Sunday, May 1, 2011

Where:   Loews Philadelphia Hotel
1200 Market Street
Philadelphia, PA 19107

This national conference focused on your unique concerns as a woman living with metastatic breast cancer.

About the Plenary Sessions

Plenary Session I – Treating Metastatic Breast Cancer - Ruth Oratz, MD, FACP

Treatments for metastatic breast cancer can delay progression, prolong life, relieve cancer-related symptoms and improve your overall quality of life. Gaining an understanding of available treatments is important in empowering you to make decisions. Dr. Oratz reviews the three major treatment options for metastatic breast cancer – hormonal therapy, targeted therapy and chemotherapy – when and how they are used and what each may mean for you in light of your unique circumstances.

Dr. Oratz is a board certified medical oncologist who specializes in treating women with breast cancer at The Women’s Oncology and Wellness Practice in New York City. She is clinical associate professor of medicine at the New York University School of Medicine and a fellow of the American College of Physicians. She is chair of the medical advisory board of Susan G. Komen for the Cure's Greater New York affiliate and is on the medical advisory boards of, Cancer and Careers, Sharsheret and The New York City Metastatic Breast Cancer Network. Dr. Oratz is also a medical consultant for CancerCare.

Plenary Session II – In the Pipeline: Understanding Drug Approval - Robert A. Somer, MD

Examine the steps involved in approving new medicines. Learn about different types of approval, the initial application, the research process, and what they mean for you. Explore the role of the FDA and its various committees in this process, and which organizations advocate for you. Find out about “compassionate use,” and how you may be able to access unapproved treatments or those under review.

Dr. Somer 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 specializes in the treatment of breast cancer and cancers of the prostate and genitourinary system.

Download the podcast and slides from these plenary presentations.

Plenary Session III – Support and Communication: Getting What You Need - Marilyn Brine Gilmour, MSW, LICSW

A diagnosis of metastatic breast cancer can sometimes leave you feeling isolated. Learning to respond to your feelings is an important part of your self-care and vital to your emotional well-being. Explore ways to meet your unique needs, and learn when it is empowering to be self-protective, the benefits of peer support – both online and in person – and to be proactive in your own circle of support.

Ms. Gilmour is a licensed clinical social worker specializing in psychological trauma and loss. In addition to her work as a psychotherapist, she facilitates cancer support groups for individuals living with metastatic cancer at The Virginia Thurston Healing Garden.

Plenary Session IV – Ask-the-Expert Panel: Managing It!Helen L. Coons, PhD, ABPP; Clifford A. Hudis, MD; Spencer Rand, Esq.; Mary Ellen Scheckenbach MAc, LOM; special guest woman living with metastatic breast cancer

Our panel of experts addresses a variety of concerns including medical and complementary therapies, symptom and side-effect management and emotional and legal issues that were asked from women like you.

About the Workshops

Download podcasts, slides, and transcripts from these workshops:

Brain Mets

Eating Well for Feeling Good

Close-Up on Neuropathy

Creating Your Stress Reduction Toolbox

Taking Control:End-of-Life Planning

Care for the Caregiver: Understanding Your Needs

Bone Mets


Close-Up on Fatigue

Flying Solo: Managing Mets as a Single Woman

Doctor-Patient Communication: Making Treatment Decisions

Triple-Negative Metastatic Breast Cancer