In breast cancer fight, know the enemy

DOVER — When it comes to treating breast cancer, knowledge is power.

And for the 18th year, the latest information on the disease that strikes one in eight women in the U.S. will be the focus at the Breast Cancer Update on April 22.

The forum will be presented by the Delaware Breast Cancer Coalition and titled “The Past, the Present, the Future of Breast Cancer.”

“Our goal is always to have people leave with more knowledge than they had coming in,” Nanci Mayer-Mihalski, co-chair of the update said.

The speakers will begin at 8:30 a.m. with the history of breast cancer, led by Dr. Diana Dickson-Witmer, medical director at Christiana Care’s Breast Center.

“Dr. Dickson-Witmer will trace the history beginning all the way back in the 1800s with early diagnoses and discoveries and the program will continue to the present, discussing current advances in diagnosis and treatment,” Ms. Mayer-Mihalski said.

Breast cancer survivors and sisters Kathy Bell, left, and Pat Courts, both of Dover, attended the 2014 Delaware Breast Cancer Coalition’s Breast Cancer Update at Dover Downs Hotel and Casino. This year’s event will focus on the past, present and future of breast cancer. (Delaware State News file/ Dave

Breast cancer survivors and sisters Kathy Bell, left, and Pat Courts, both of Dover, attended the 2014 Delaware Breast Cancer Coalition’s Breast Cancer Update at Dover Downs Hotel and Casino. This year’s event will focus on the past, present and future of breast cancer. (Delaware State News file/ Dave

While focusing on the present, the forum will discuss current methods of treatment and how patients and survivors can manage the present focusing on the well-being on their minds body and spirits.

“The DBCC has many opportunities and can provide a lot of advice for ways to cope with treatment and getting life back to normal,” Ms. Mayer-Mihalski said.

The DBCC offers programs like Nurture With Nature that gets patients and survivors participating in activities ranging from kayaking to horseback riding.

The organization also encourages activities like yoga and journaling to relax and clear the mind.

As for the future, the forum will discuss research and what recent findings mean for the future of diagnosis and treatment.

Dr. Maria Theodoulou of Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center will lead a discussion on advances in treatment while representatives from research facilities in Delaware and Maryland will present current projects like clinical trials and prevention through vaccines.

“Many patients who work with the DBCC are interested in research and clinical trials and many are even willing to participate in clinical trials so this is a good opportunity to learn about them,” Ms. Mayer-Mihalski said. “The forums are important for patients because we want to ensure that when they go to their doctor that they are asking the right questions.”

The forum is from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. April 22 at Dover Downs Hotel & Casino.

The event is free and open to the public. Preregistration is not required but it is highly encouraged. To register for the event or to find more information, visit debreastcancer.org.

The update also provides certificates of attendance documenting 4.25 contact hours and .4 continuing education units will be available to nurses and other health-care professionals. Registration for contact hours and CEUs is $30.

Reach staff writer Ashton Brown at abrown@newszap.com. Follow @AshtonReports on Twitter.

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