By Belinda Vail, MD
2017 Cancer Survivorship Symposium Program Committee Member
As we continue to make dramatic strides in treating cancer, we are creating an ever-increasing group of cancer survivors. Research informs us that neither oncologists nor primary care physicians are currently equipped to effectively manage all aspects of these patients’ care. Optimal care results from a collaboration between the oncology and primary care teams. It was with this in mind that the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP), the American College of Physicians (ACP), and ASCO joined forces to create the Cancer Survivorship Symposium: Advancing Care and Research—A Primary Care and Oncology Collaboration.
In its 2016 inaugural year, the symposium drew over 700 enthusiastic attendees across the cancer care continuum and from around the world to San Francisco to start a collaboration that would help providers understand and transform health care for survivors of all types of cancer. This year, the symposium is at the Manchester Grand Hyatt in San Diego on January 27 and 28. Utilizing feedback from attendees, the Planning Committee hopes to make this year even more dynamic and informative than the first.
In a return engagement, "An Evening for Cancer Survivors and Caregivers" will be hosted at the same hotel the evening before the symposium officially opens. The January 26 event, presented by ASCO and the Conquer Cancer Foundation, along with collaborating organizations (American Cancer Society, CancerCare, Cancer Support Community, LIVESTRONG, and the National Coalition for Cancer Survivorship), is designed to bring together people affected by cancer to network and learn from one another and discuss important topics with top leaders in cancer survivorship. The evening will begin with a reception at 6:30 PM, followed by an interactive discussion among a panel of cancer survivors, primary care providers, and oncologists. It will conclude with a question-and-answer session and wrap up at approximately 9:00 PM.
We will have a total of six panelists, two of whom are cancer survivors, and will discuss survivors caring for themselves, maintaining a healthy lifestyle, and coping with fear and anxiety; the role of the family practitioner and how to collaborate effectively with oncologists; the oncologists’ role in long-term survivorship; and audience concerns and questions. Please plan to join us for an inspirational evening complete with food and thought-provoking discussion—the perfect way to join the conversation early and prepare for active participation in the symposium.
"An Evening for Cancer Survivors and Caregivers" is open to all and free of charge. You can register to attend online. We hope to see you there!
Dr. Vail is a professor and chair of the Department of Family Medicine at the University of Kansas and the mother of a cancer survivor.