Conference shares information for breast cancer survivors on living their “new normal”

HAMILTON – Breast cancer survivors and their loved ones are invited to Life After Breast Cancer, a full-day conference taking place Wednesday, Oct. 18 at the Hamilton Convention Centre by Carmen’s.

Presented by Hamilton Health Sciences’ Juravinski Cancer Centre (JCC), the Life After Breast Cancer conference helps breast cancer survivors adjust to their “new normal” after diagnosis and treatment.

The Life After Breast Cancer conference has taken place every two years for the past nine years and typically attracts more than 300 participants.

“Conference topics cover a wide range of survivorship issues ranging from exercise, nutrition and management of long-term side effects to recent advances in diagnosis and treatment from physicians specializing in this field,” says conference Co-Chair Dr. Callista Phillips, a medical oncologist at the Joseph Brant Hospital in Burlington and the JCC where she treats breast cancer and has a special interest in survivorship.

Hamilton Health Sciences presenters include medical oncologist Dr. Ghazaleh Kazemi who will talk about extended hormonal therapy, and radiation oncologist Dr. Barbara Strang who will discuss radiation therapy, including managing long-term side effects. Nurse practitioner Margaret Forbes will offer helpful advice on hot flash management and radiation therapist Michele Cardoso will discuss tools for managing the lymphedema challenge. Genetics counsellor Kathleen Bell will share information on cancer genetics and Dr. Paul Miller, an emergency and palliative care physician, will discuss the value of hope.

Other presenters include Toronto plastic surgeon Dr. Christine Tang who specializes in breast reconstruction surgery and Hamilton registered sex therapist Tetyana Klassen who will cover sex, intimacy and vulnerability after breast cancer. Jennifer Beck and Kate Smith from Wellspring support centres will demonstrate exercises for every stage of treatment and recovery, while Wellspring registered dietitian and cancer survivor Jean LaMantia will share keys to risk reduction. Hamilton yoga teacher Heather Greaves will speak to the connection between yoga and spiritual well-being.

This year’s keynote speaker is Susan Stewart, a Toronto comedian who uses humour to help her audience manage stress. “Her routine acts as a reminder that while we can’t always control what happens to us, we can manage how we respond to it,” says conference Co-Chair Leslie Maskell.

The Life After Breast Cancer conference takes place Oct. 18 from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Hamilton Convention Centre by Carmen’s, 1 Summers Lane. The day includes a buffet lunch, light snacks and refreshments as well as raffles. Participants can network and access vendor tables and community resources.

Registration is $45 and the deadline is Oct.13. For more information or to register please visit or call 905-575-6398.

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