Cancer robs us of hope, energy and good people daily, but with new discoveries in cancer research and advances in cancer treatment, many types of this disease are being treated successfully or managed more like chronic diseases. Researchers continue working on finding a cure and immuno-oncology appears to be a promising new approach. In the meantime, people need to do what they can do now to prevent cancers from developing.
“It may take up to 10 years or longer for some cancers to develop into a serious problem,” says Charlotte Litzenberg, Coordinator at the Cancer Research and Resource Center of Southern Virginia located in Danville. “That amount of time can provide an incredible window of opportunity for medical providers to act and possibly save a life. We need to educate people about the importance of prevention and the early detection of cancer.”
To address these points, representatives of Susan G. Komen Central Virginia, the Virginia Breast Cancer Foundation, PATHS (Piedmont Access to Health Services), and VCU Massey Cancer Center’s Cancer Research and Resource Centers of Southern Virginia, which are partially funded by the Tobacco Region Revitalization Commission, have been working with major state and local organizations and medical facilities to present a free continuing education program. Act Today for More Tomorrows, a continuing education program for nurses and EMS will take place on Saturday, September 24. National keynote speaker Barb Bancroft, RN, MSN, PNP, a Chicagoan with Virginia ties who is always entertaining and informative, will talk about breast and HPV/related cancers. She will be followed by a panel of local experts.
Planners for Act Today for More Tomorrows hope to reach as many medical providers as possible in the south central area of Virginia with this information. Harnessing the power of the Internet, they will deliver this free, high-quality, educational program (4.5 credit hours for nurses) live from Hampden Sydney College in Farmville to five satellite sites, all dotting the Highway 58 corridor, which runs east-west along the southern border of Virginia. People will be able to view this program in Martinsville, Danville, South Boston, South Hill and Emporia.
Talking with providers about your family’s medical history and following cancer screening guidelines can lead to the early detection of cancer, which can save your life, so a panel of local experts will also talk about best medical practices:
Ibtehal Al-Ani, MD, Pediatrician, Prince Edward Pediatrics
The American Academy of Pediatricians recommends that both boys and girls get the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine by the age of 12. HPV causes a majority of cervical and anal cancers (91%). Among other cancers, it also causes cancer of the base of tongue/back of throat (72%), which is on the rise among men.
Christina Benton, MPH, Every Woman’s Life, Virginia Department of Health
Every Woman’s Life provides low-income and uninsured women access to free breast and cervical cancer screening and diagnostic services.
Jerry Lucas, MD, Ob-Gyn, Centra Southside
Beginning at age 40, all women should talk with their provider about the mammogram plan that is best for them. At age 21, women should talk with their healthcare provider about when and how often a Pap test, Pap and HPV tests and pelvic examinations should be performed.
Kara Lamb, RN, MSN, OCN, Oncology Breast Navigator, Centra Health
A high percentage of people in this area do not have insurance or are under-insured. Lamb will talk about their options if they are diagnosed with breast cancer.
The general public is welcome to attend. Space at each site is limited, so online registration at www.vbcf.org/educate/conferencesis required by September 20th . If you have any questions, please call the Cancer Research and Resource Center of Southern Virginia at 434.421.3060.
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