Jacksonville Plays Host to Only International Conference Addressing Unique Concerns of Young Breast Cancer Survivors

December 17, 2007

International Conference Convenes Young Breast Cancer Survivors, Leading Healthcare Experts To Address Breast Cancer in Young Women

Jacksonville, Florida - (December 17, 2007)

Jacksonville Plays Host to Only International Conference
Addressing Unique Concerns of Young Breast Cancer Survivors

The world's leading breast cancer experts will bring the latest medical, research and quality-of-life information on breast cancer in premenopausal women to an estimated 1,000 young breast cancer survivors, caregivers and medical professionals from around the world at the 8th Annual Conference for Young Women Affected by Breast Cancer, to be held at the Hyatt Regency Jacksonville Riverfront, Feb. 22-24, 2008.

A collaborative effort of three nonprofit organizations — Living Beyond Breast Cancer (LBBC), Susan G. Komen for the Cure and Young Survival Coalition (YSC), this three-day event is the only international educational conference that focuses on the unique issues of young breast cancer survivors.

Keynote presentations and more than 20 workshops will offer specialized information for women recently diagnosed, in treatment or who have recently completed treatment as well as long-term survivors; women with advanced breast cancer; caregivers and healthcare providers. Some of the foremost experts on breast cancer will travel from around the world to educate, meet and listen to the concerns of attendees. In 2007, more than 800 women, their partners, supporters and healthcare providers came from 46 states and 11 countries to take part in the event.

"The goal of this conference is to enable young women with breast cancer and their loved ones to make informed choices with the most up-to-the minute and age-appropriate information about their treatment and well-being," said Jean A. Sachs, MSS, MLSP, executive director of LBBC. "This year, LBBC and the YSC are thrilled for the opportunity to partner with Susan G. Komen for the Cure to reach out to and meet the needs of more young women affected by breast cancer."

Though breast cancer is less common in women under age 40, its impact is still devastating. According to the National Cancer Institute, breast cancer is the leading cause of death in young women ages 15-54. There are more than 250,000 women age 40 and under in the U.S. living with breast cancer, and more than 11,000 women in this age range will be diagnosed in the next year.

Young women diagnosed with breast cancer also struggle with many issues that their post-menopausal counterparts don't face, including the possibility of early menopause, pregnancy after diagnosis, more advanced cancers at diagnosis and slightly higher mortality rates. Through this conference and the programs and services LBBC, Komen and the YSC provide, young women can network with others like them and access education and support services just for them.

"Because the psychosocial and medical concerns of young women are different than those of women over age 40, when a young woman is diagnosed with breast cancer she may feel isolated and alone. This conference connects young women in similar situations so they know they are not alone," said Hala Moddelmog, president and CEO of Susan G. Komen for the Cure. "The conference is also part of Komen's mission to raise awareness and promote engagement in the breast cancer cause among young women, a powerful generation of advocates."

"More than ever, young women need information specific to their needs to better communicate with their healthcare providers and loved ones," said Stacy Lewis, CHES, vice president of programming of the YSC. "This conference empowers them to effectively navigate complex treatment decisions and the long-term emotional effects of a breast cancer diagnosis early in life."

Featured speakers include:

  • Ann H. Partridge, MD, MPH, assistant professor of medicine, Harvard Medical School and director of the Program for Young Women with Breast Cancer at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Brigham and Women's Hospital. She will discuss recent medical advances.
  • Keith Block, MD, medical and scientific director, Block Center for Integrative Cancer Treatment and Institute for Cancer Research and Education. He will educate attendees about enhancing well-being through evidence-based complementary and integrative medicine.
  • Zora Brown, director of health and cultural affairs and special assistant to the CEO, INTEGRIS health. She will speak with conference attendees about maintaining courage, faith and hope during and after treatment.

Supporters include lead sponsor, the Avon Foundation; presenting sponsors Genentech, Inc. and Novartis; title sponsors Allergan, GlaxoSmithKline Oncology, Merck, Myriad Genetic Laboratories, Inc., Pure Romance, Roche and Wyeth Pharmaceuticals; and benefactors Immunicon and The Paula A. Seidman Fund.

To register, or for more information, visit www.youngsurvivorsconference.org or call Living Beyond Breast Cancer at (610) 645-4567 or the Young Survival Coalition at (646) 257-3000. Walk-in registrations are welcomed.

Registration for the three-day conference is $125 per person until Feb. 15, 2008, and $135 thereafter. The conference fee includes all educational programming, breakfast both mornings, lunch and networking receptions on Friday and Saturday and dinner on Saturday.

Note: Members of the news media who would like to attend the conference shoudl contact Karen Borak at (212) 242-4629 or kborak@msn.com.

About Living Beyond Breast Cancer (LBBC)
Living Beyond Breast Cancer, based outside Philadelphia, is a national nonprofit organization dedicated to empowering all women affected by breast cancer to live as long as possible with the best quality of life. Programs and services include: conferences; teleconferences; the toll-free Survivors' Helpline (888.753.5222); a website, lbbc.org; free quarterly newsletters; publications for African-American and Latina women; recordings; networking programs for young survivors and women of color; healthcare-provider trainings; and the Paula A. Seidman Library and Resource Center.

About Susan G. Komen for the Cure
Nancy G. Brinker promised her dying sister, Susan G. Komen, she would do everything in her power to end breast cancer forever. In 1982, that promise became Susan G. Komen for the Cure and launched the global breast cancer movement. Today, Komen for the Cure is the world's largest grassroots network of breast cancer survivors and activists fighting to save lives, empower people, ensure quality care for all and energize science to find the cures. Thanks to events like the Komen Race for the Cure, we have invested nearly $1 billion to fulfill our promise, becoming the largest source of nonprofit funds dedicated to the fight against breast cancer in the world. For more information about Susan G. Komen for the Cure, breast health or breast cancer, visit www.komen.org or call 1-877-GO-KOMEN.

About The Young Survival Coalition (YSC)
The Young Survival Coalition, based in New York, is the premier international network of breast cancer survivors and supporters dedicated to the critical concerns and issues unique to young women affected by breast cancer. Through action, advocacy and awareness, the YSC seeks to educate and influence the medical, research, breast cancer and legislative communities to address breast cancer in women 40 and under, and to serve as a point of contact for young women living with breast cancer.