May 14 Symposium Focuses on Breast Cancer Care and the Underserved

May 11, 2004
News Office: Eve Harris

Public health experts will tackle the complexities of breast cancer and the medically underserved in a day-long symposium May 14 at the Golden Gate Club in the Presidio of San Francisco.

"During the symposium we'll highlight examples of innovative and successful research and its application to the challenges of delivering breast cancer care to low-income communities through the public health system," said Dr. Robert Hiatt, director of Population Science at the UCSF Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center. "We know we need to maximize the benefit from limited public health resources."

WHAT: The second annual Avon Symposium: "Delivering the Continuum of Breast Cancer Care to the Underserved"

WHO: Open by invitation to researchers, policymakers, public health professionals, the media and patient advocates.

WHEN: Friday, May 14, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

WHERE: Golden Gate Club, Presidio of San Francisco

The program will cover three areas: outreach and education, early detection and treatment. The first speaker in each area will be a patient from San Francisco General Hospital Medical Center (SFGHMC).

"Nothing is more important -- or more informative -- than listening to our patients," said Dr. Judith Luce, director of medical oncology at SFGHMC. "We welcome them as partners at the symposium just as we do in our clinics."

Among the symposium attendees will be those who represent public hospitals and health systems, where many of the nation's uninsured are treated. The American Cancer Society estimates that the cancer survival rate of poor individuals is 10 percent to 15 percent lower than that of other Americans.

Some speakers and guests from UCSF, SFGHMC and other groups and institutions are associated with programs supported by the Avon Foundation.

Participants will be welcomed by Hiatt, a UCSF professor of epidemiology and biostatistics, and UCSF Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center Director Frank McCormick. The keynote will be delivered by Larry Gage, president since 1981 of the National Association of Public Hospitals and Health Systems. Closing remarks will be delivered by Dr. Wendel Brunner, director of public health for Contra Costa County since 1983.

Breast cancer is the most often diagnosed cancer in women in the U.S., and the second most deadly after lung cancer. To date the Avon Foundation Breast Cancer Crusade has awarded more than $300 million to breast cancer research and care organizations worldwide.

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