Free Colorectal Cancer Seminar Offered

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Every four minutes someone in the United States is diagnosed with colorectal cancer, a diagnosis that can be overwhelming without appropriate information and support.

To help meet that need, a free educational seminar for colorectal cancer patients and caregivers will be held Saturday, June 9, at the Greensboro AHEC (Area Health Education Center) on the campus of Moses H. Cone Memorial Hospital. The session, "Conversations about Colorectal Cancer," is open to the public.

Cancer experts from Duke University, University of North Carolina and Wake Forest University's comprehensive cancer centers will present information on a range of topics about colorectal cancer; from the latest treatment advances with targeted therapies to managing treatment side effects. The program will encourage discussions about improving quality of life, and will give patients and caregivers the chance to talk with, listen to and support each other in their fight against colorectal cancer.

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For more information or to register for the Greensboro event, please visit the Colon Cancer Alliance web site, www.ccalliance.org, or call 1-877-422-2030.

"This program is an important way for those living with colorectal cancer to learn more about the nation's second-leading cancer killer," said Gordon Cole, the Colon Cancer Alliance's Voices of Greensboro Chapter Coordinator. "As a survivor, I know the importance of giving those affected by colorectal cancer the opportunity to hear from leading physicians and learn how best to become an active partner in treatment programs."

"North Carolina is home to three of the world's leading comprehensive cancer centers. This is the first time that they have come together to engage patients and caregivers in an interactive seminar on treatment options and issues related to living with colorectal cancer," noted Walter L. Shepherd, director of the NC Comprehensive Cancer Program and executive director of the N.C. Advisory Committee on Cancer Coordination and Control. "By encouraging discussion between patients, health care providers and caregivers, we hope to help patients learn how to successfully continue their daily activities and ultimately improve their quality of life."

A recent Harris Interactive survey of more than 500 cancer patients and 300 oncologists found that patients who discussed cancer topics with their physicians were more knowledgeable about their condition than those who did not. For example, 90 percent of patients who didn't have discussions with their physicians were unaware of the extent of available treatment options. In addition, patients who did not have discussions with their physicians were less informed about the possibility of treatment delays, infection, the effects of low red and white blood cells, and the value of proper patient education.

This seminar is part of a 10-city, national series of free colorectal cancer educational seminars, running November 2006 through June 2007. The seminars are funded by an unrestricted educational grant from Amgen.

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