Chances of survival for children diagnosed with cancer before the early 1970’s was very grim. Today, nearly one in 20 Americans over the age of 20 is a cancer survivor, thanks to advances in early detection and treatment. Since 75 to 80 percent of children with a cancer diagnosis are now expected to live, Golisano Children’s Hospital of Southwest Florida, through a grant from the American Cancer Society, is hosting its first PACE Conference to acknowledge the special needs of caring for cancer survivors and managing the long-term effects of the disease and its treatments.
Teens and young adult cancer survivors, their families, caregivers, and health care professionals who work with cancer survivors are all welcome to attend the conference:
Saturday, Oct. 19, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Sanibel Harbour Marriott Resort & Spa, 17260 Harbour Pointe Drive, Fort Myers
“It’s important we recognize that most survivors will develop health issues later in life,” explains Emad Salman, M.D., Director of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology for Golisano Children’s Hospital of Southwest Florida. “Their overall health needs to be monitored on a regular basis by a professional who is familiar with these risks. Early diagnosis typically leads to easier treatment, or possibly prevention of conditions associated with cancer survivorship.”
The American Cancer Society grant has provided Golisano Children’s Hospital the opportunity to invite some of the most experienced and published experts in the field of pediatric cancer survivorship to expand our understanding of potential late effects of treatment, how to access community and health care resources, healthy eating and nutrition, and helping survivors navigate healthcare insurance and financial stability. Local pediatric cancer survivors will also give personal testimonials.
Daniel Armstrong, PhD, is Professor & Executive Vice Chair, Department of Pediatrics and Director, Mailman Center for Child Development. As a licensed psychologist with a national and international reputation in the area of neurodevelopmental outcomes of childhood chronic diseases, notably cancer and sickle cell disease, he will address the issue of long-term cognitive function as the result of childhood cancer treatments.
The conference is free, but registration is required by Friday, Oct. 11, and limited to 100 participants. Child life specialists and volunteers will be on hand with plenty of games and activities to occupy children so parents can attend the sessions. For more information, please call Sarah Evangelista 239-343-6027.