The Patient Advocate Program (PAP), held annually at the annual San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium, began on Monday, December 5, with an orientation for the 33 scholarship advocates attending as well as a few other patient advocates. That evening, ABCF held its Welcome Dinner for all scholarship advocates, PAP sponsors, Hot Topics mentors, and community members it works with throughout the year.
On Tuesday morning, December 6, ABCF held an education session on clinical oncology and clinical trials in conjunction with the National Breast Cancer Coalition Fund. The speakers were Dr. H. Kim Lyerly, whose topic was The Emergence of Immunotherapy Potential in Breast Cancer. His talk was followed by Dr. Matthew Ellis, whose topic was Neoadjuvant Endocrine Therapy for Prediction and Prognosis in ER+ Breast Cancer. A second education program, co-sponsored with the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR), was held Tuesday evening. It features talks by two breast cancer experts who are also passionate supporters of patient advocacy: Dr. Julie Gralow and Dr. Olufummilayo I. Olapade. Dr. Gralow addressed New Strategies in the Treatment of Breast Cancer, and Dr. spoke on Disparities in Breast Cancer Research. The AACR/ABCF education session was live streamed on AACR’s Facebook page, garnering over 5,000 viewers.
For those unable to attend the 2016 Patient Advocate Program, the three Hot Topic Mentor Sessions, held every night of the SABCS and featuring reknowned breast cancer experts as mentors, were live streamed on ABCF’s Facebook page. If you were not able to attend or haven’t watched the Mentor Sessions on Facebook, you can still see them by going to the ABCF Facebook page and scroll down to each evening’s session; there are also five Advocate Chats from the 2016 Advocate Program. One of our scholarship advocates interviewed one of our mentors, and the videos are full of information. Also, in March, we will also have more videos online with interviews of our mentors and advocates. Please check these out.
We sincerely thank the wonderful volunteers who helped work the ABCF exhibit table in the convention hall and the education events. This year ABCF held five educational sessions (including the Mentor Sessions), and our sponsors held five additional education sessions for patient advocates.