Kimmel Cancer Center Hosts Program to Help Patients and Families Learn More About Living with Cancer April 2

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The Kimmel Cancer Center at Jefferson in Philadelphia is holding a program on Wednesday, April 2, 2008 for patients, families and caregivers whose lives have been touched by cancer.

“Life After A Cancer Diagnosis” will feature speakers addressing topics ranging from exercise and cancer fatigue to caregiver issues to questions about fertility and sexuality after diagnosis and treatment. The session on sexuality and cancer is particularly focused on young adults ages 18 to 45 with cancer – a group, notes Kimmel Cancer Center clinical administrator Joy Soleiman, MPA, whose needs are sometimes overlooked.

“There are few resources for young adult survivors,” says Ms. Soleiman, who helped organize the program. “We felt that it was an area that needed to be addressed. These sessions focus on the needs of everyone along the cancer diagnosis continuum.”

The program begins at 4 p.m. and will be held in the Bluemle Life Sciences Building, Thomas Jefferson University, 233 S. 10th Street. The registration fee is $15. At 5 p.m., keynote speaker and cancer survivor Dan Shapiro, Ph.D., will present a talk, “A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to Chemotherapy.” Dr. Shapiro is associate professor of clinical psychiatry and Director, Medical Humanities Program, College of Medicine at the University of Arizona. He has written a book describing his personal cancer experience and has been featured in The New York Times, the Chicago Tribune and on the Today Show.

“This superb program only underscores the Kimmel Cancer Center’s extraordinary commitment to the well being of patients and families dealing with a cancer diagnosis,” says Kimmel Cancer Center Director Richard Pestell, M.D., Ph.D., vice president for oncology services at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital.

Speakers will also discuss new research, cancer as a chronic disease, and integrative medicine and cancer, including mind-body therapies and acupuncture. In one session, for example, Daniel Monti, M.D., director of the Jefferson-Myrna Brind Center of Integrative Medicine at Thomas Jefferson University, will help participants learn how mind-body therapies, alternative pain techniques and nutrition are used to support health and quality of life in cancer survivors.

Neal Flomenberg, M.D., professor and chair of the Department of Medical Oncology at Jefferson Medical College of Thomas Jefferson University, will discuss new ideas about the nature of cancer and some new therapies that may change the course of cancer treatment and recovery.

In addition, experts from the University of Pennsylvania and The Wellness Community of Philadelphia will also participate.