Today, I’m in San Antonio, Texas to attend the annual San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium (SABCS) through Friday. I’ve gone before, in 2018 and 2019 in person and in 2020 virtually. Having had both experiences, even with the challenges of COVID, I knew that attending in person was something to prioritize this year. And so, we made the arrangements for me to be able to attend, which includes coverage for the kiddos.
This year, I’m pretty excited about the different opportunities I’ve been given to connect to other patient advocates, clinicians, researchers, and Pharma people. Today, I was able to serve on a panel to talk about how COVID has affected living with and treatment for breast cancer. I was able to talk about what we’ve done and how vaccines are a big part of keeping our whole family safe.
At some point, I’ll have the audio, I think, from what I shared with everyone, including the shoutout to my medical oncologist about how we worked together to figure out the best way for me to get the Pfizer COVID vaccines and boosters earlier this year. I was joined by Isabel Centeno (https://twitter.com/IsabelCentenoS); Sharon Anderson (https://twitter.com/anders_145) as patient advocates for a panel discussion moderated by Dr. Maryam Lustberg (https://twitter.com/maryam_lustberg) in person and Susan Rafte (https://twitter.com/susanrafte) virtually. It was such a pleasure learning from each of them as we prepared for the panel discussion and working together to get information out to the conference about how patients are managing COVID and cancer.
Tomorrow, I’ll serve as a mentor for new scientists on how to involve patient advocates from the beginning so that we will hopefully see new collaborations in the future for the benefit of everyone. This movement to involve patients at the beginning to understand the real world consequences of research and clinical options is what will allow precision medicine to become a reality, I believe. Until the medical professionals cater to us, the consumers, there will always been unintended consequences, unintended hiccups that could have been addressed at the beginning.
Here are a few lists of abstracts to look out for from some trusted medical resources:
One of the absolute best things from every conference are the people that I get to see and hug and spend time getting to know. This gathering of advocates is truly amazing and I am so thankful to be able to hug and get to know each of them better in person! From the left in the picture is Ginny Mason, Stacey Tinianov, barbara Segarra Vasquez, me, Sharon Anderson, Janice Cowden, and Isabel Centeno. I wouldn’t recommend the restaurant we found on the Riverwalk in light of the rather terrible service, but the company was stellar.
Stay tuned for more updates from San Antonio!