National Conference on Prostate Cancer June 16 -20, 2005
Foundation for Cancer Research and Education
Us Too – Prostate Cancer Education and Support
(Conference Review by David S. Most, PhD, Director, Health Information Research, Inc., N. Palm Beach, Florida) (561) 776 6666
This conference was the first of its kind to be held on the East Coast of America. Its origins are with the PCRI (Prostate Cancer Research Institute) in Los Angeles. It produced the first of this series in 1999. It was too expensive and problematic for men to travel to LA for these Conferences so it was decided to produce this one in Washington, DC.
Attendance hit some 800 including wives and significant others. The Conference was very intensive beginning with a three-hour session Thursday from 3:00 – 6:00 PM, June 16 and ending with a three hour session on Sunday morning, June 21, 2005. Included during this period were multiple sessions that dealt with Support Groups (Us Too) and their functions in the world of prostate cancer (PCa hereafter).
The writer attended the majority of these sessions and will present a review of the papers and their overall significance. Because PCa research has exploded during the past ten years it is almost impossible for any individual to keep up. This is especially true for laypersons who must struggle with the jargon and biochemical concepts common to so many of them. Most of the presenters did an excellent job of structuring their lectures so the majority of the audience could understand and follow them.
This writer, looking over the entire audience in the lecture hall, was impressed with the site of all those gray heads sitting in rapt attention while a “young” lecturer went into some depth about new genetic concepts in PCa that may shortly lead to significant advances. “Men are From Mars, Women are From Venus” applied here in spades! PCa can and does have devastating effects on male sexuality.
Yet here were dozens of loving mates sharing the experience with their husbands and doing their best to learn with them. One of the well-attended presentations was the one dealing with sexuality and PCa presented by the Alterowitz’s. This couple has made a career out of helping PCa patients and their mates deal with sexuality issues.
Overall, this writer believes the Conference was hugely successful. Our own opinion was quite positive and, in conversations with other attendees, we heard nothing but positive comments. There were some minor complaints that when questions had to be asked in a room apart from the primary lecture hall, some parts of the next speaker’s lecture had to be missed. Aside from this minor complaint the organizers are to be complimented on a job WELL DONE.
Part II of this Conference Review will present a more in-depth analysis of the content of the presentations. This was not a Conference in which highly technical papers presenting fresh research results were given.
Rather it was a Conference in which highly respected presenters, mostly MDs and research PhDs, presented summaries and reviews of the current status of knowledge in a widely diverse set of subjects. These ranged from robotic surgery for radical prostatectomies, to biomarkers useful in diagnosis that are largely ignored by many of our local medical communities.
We will answer any and all questions concerning the Conference that are addressed to us via the annieappleseedproject.org web site.
Please watch this space as we begin posting our analyses of all the presentations.
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