Free Seminar Targets Patients with Colorectal Cancer

By Robin Hindery

UCSF will host a free educational seminar on Saturday, Oct. 31 aimed at individuals with colorectal cancer — a disease that kills nearly 50,000 Americans each year but is often curable if caught early.

The seminar, “Conversations about Colorectal Cancer,” will offer patients the opportunity to interact with cancer experts and others living with the disease, as well as information about the latest treatment advances.

In addition to current colorectal cancer patients, cancer survivors, caregivers, loved ones, nurses, and other health care professionals are also invited to attend.

The event will take place Oct. 31 from 8:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. at 1600 Divisadero St. in San Francisco, and will include a free lunch. To register or obtain more information, call 1-877-422-2030 or visit the website.

“By encouraging increased dialogue between patients, health care providers and caregivers, we hope to help patients learn how to successfully continue their daily activities and ultimately improve their quality of life,” said Donna Quinlan, program director at the Colon Cancer Alliance, a national patient advocacy group that is organizing the seminar along with the UCSF Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center.

The National Cancer Institute estimates that roughly 147,000 people in the United States will be diagnosed with colon or rectal cancer in 2009. Colorectal cancer is the third most common form of cancer and the second leading cause of cancer-related deaths in both men and women.
However, with screening, the majority of colorectal cancers can be prevented or detected while still treatable.

The Oct. 31 program, held at UCSF Medical Center at Mount Zion, will feature presentations by UCSF radiation cancer specialist Kim Huang, MD; Madhulika Varma, MD, chief of colorectal surgery; gastrointestinal cancer expert Alan Venook, MD; and Robert Kerlan, MD, chief of Interventional Radiology.

The seminar, part of a series of free educational events held throughout the country in 2009, is funded by unrestricted educational grants to the Colon Cancer Alliance from Amgen Oncology, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Roche, Genentech BioOncology, and Sanofi-Aventis.

Related Links:

Colorectal Cancer Treatment at UCSF

Colon Cancer Alliance