Ginny reports from the San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium: Dr. Blackwell urged patients to rethink a “cure” for cancer, pointing out that in most fields of medicine, except for infectious diseases like pneumonia or smallpox or tuberculosis, diseases are managed and not cured. People are treated chronically in the US for cholesterol, hypertension, diabetes, arthritis, etc and hopefully HER2+ metastatic breast cancer will soon be included in this list.
Shirley and I are here in San Antonio at SABCS (San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium), a premier conference for oncologists and researchers from around the world with an attendance of about 7000 people.
AN INTERNATIONAL EXPERIENCE
It’s my first experience, but Shirley is a veteran and has been here six times. She was surprised and happy to see metastatic presentations throughout the four day conference. “Years ago” she said, “it seemed like metastatic was relegated to the last day.” We have met many people — researchers, oncologists, radiation oncologists and advocates–from the US and internationally– and have had some significant and interesting conversations. Getting a world perspective is particularly eye opening: A breast surgeon from Iran pointed out to me that metastatic breast cancer in Iran is not usually treated, since it is a terminal disease. In India, Her2 treatments are rare because of the costs. In Colombia and Brazil…
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