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How to Attend the San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium

How to Attend the San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium

Sandy Finestone is a new monthly contributor to YSC’s blog and a RISE advocate, an exclusive group within YSC ’s volunteer structure that represents YSC at external conferences, contributes to scientific discussions and participates on review boards for research.

First, I’m excited about writing a monthly article for the Young Survival Coalition. I would love your feedback about the topics that interest you. Comment on YSC’s Facebook page or this blog to tell me your thoughts!

San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium 2018

Earlier this month, I attended the San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium (SABCS), the largest annual conference in the world dedicated exclusively to breast cancer. More than 7,500 researchers, clinicians, industry representatives and patient advocates attended. It’s exciting to hear languages from every continent. And to know they’re all working to find better treatments for and ways to prevent breast cancer.

The main theme I took away from this year’s SABCS was that researchers want to know if patients can be treated, have a positive outcome and receive fewer toxic treatments. Can less actually be better?

Some of my colleagues livetweeted their favorite panels. You can view YSC’s Twitter recap at #YSCSABCS18.

The entire program is done in plenary sessions so attendees don’t have to miss a breakout session. There is a special “Young Career Lounge” that offers young new researchers a place to network and hear informal programs and discussions.

The Alamo Breast Cancer Foundation facilitates an advocates program that offers scholarships to attend. Recipients receive an amount that should cover both their airfares and hotel costs. Food is provided each evening when the conference ends. In addition, the advocates are able to have expert clinicians and researchers give them a recap of the important presentations that were made that day.

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Scholarships for SABCS Attendees

I would encourage all of you to consider applying for this scholarship. While the days are long, it is a wonderful way to meet other advocates. And also to learn about the newest research about breast cancer from some of the world’s leading experts. In addition, it is an opportunity to learn the direction of where future research is heading.

Attendees can download the entire program, so you have the opportunity to go back through the presentations and perhaps clarify the information you heard. Also in the evenings, many of the pharmaceutical companies have dinner presentations given by well-known clinicians and researchers. This gives you another opportunity to learn and ask questions.

It is a meeting I look forward to every year and one I hate to miss.

Sandy FinestoneSandra (Sandy) Finestone, Psy.D., is a 30 year breast cancer survivor and research advocate who has been a volunteer for Susan G. Komen for over 25 years. Sandy is the Past President and Treasurer of the Susan G. Komen Inland Empire Affiliate, Past President and Race Chair of the Orange County Affiliate and serves on the Advocates in Science (AIS) Steering Committee and chairs the AIS Training Working Group. A long-time advocate, Dr. Finestone organized a support group for husbands of breast cancer survivors. She also founded the Orange County Breast Cancer Coalition and opened the Hope Wellness Center to meet the needs of breast cancer survivors.

Her advocacy knows no borders; in 2009, Dr. Finestone went to Jordan to facilitate a meeting that taught healthcare providers about support groups for women with breast cancer, and later that year, returned to the middle-east to train women in Kuwait and Egypt about support groups. She has been recognized for her work, receiving the 2002 National Komen Outstanding Volunteer of the Year for Lifetime Achievement. She is currently on the steering committee of Komen Advocates in Science and serves as the chair of the Education and Training Working Group. Dr. Finestone reviews research grants for Komen as well as the Department of Defense, Cochrane, Avon, PCORI and the states of New York and California. She is an Ambassador for PCORI.