University of Chicago Cancer Research Center to present 3rd Illinois breast-cancer summit October 31

October 31, 1997

The University of Chicago Cancer Research Center (UCCRC), working in collaboration with the Y-ME National Breast Cancer Organization and the Illinois Department of Public Health, will host "Practical Issues in the Diagnosis and Management of Breast Cancer: Helping Patients Make the Right Decisions," a federally sponsored summit meeting to educate physicians and other healthcare providers about the latest developments in the battle against breast cancer. The conference will be held Friday, October 31, 1997 from 7:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at the Drake Hotel in downtown Chicago.

The Summit, designed for physicians who are not breast cancer specialists, will provide information about risk assessment, new diagnostic techniques, treatment, cultural, and ethical issues related to breast cancer and follow-up needs.

Many primary care physicians, such as family practitioners, gynecologists, and geriatricians, act as the "point of contact" with cancer patients. They are often the ones who can best influence patients' attitudes about cancer screening and who guide patients with breast cancer through therapy. The Summit helps to keep these non-specialist aware of the current issues, controversies, and advances concerning breast cancer.

The program of regional breast cancer summits began in 1992 as a partnership between a federal agency, the National Cancer Institute, and a private foundation, the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation. Support for the Illinois summit is also provided by AMGEN and Bristol-Myers Squibb Company, and the Illinois Department of Public Health.

Breast cancer is the most common type of cancer in women in the United States. The American Cancer Society estimates that in 1997, there will 180,200 new cases, including 9,200 in Illinois, and 44,190 deaths (2,200 in Illinois) from this disease. The good news is that because of earlier detection with mammograms and better treatments, those numbers declined slightly compared to 1996--the first time they have gone down.

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