Understanding prostate cancer and ways to treat the disease will be
the topic of a conference that organizers predict could draw more
than 1,000 people to Burbank beginning Friday.
The 2003 National Conference on Prostate Cancer will last through
Sunday at the Hilton Burbank, 2500 Hollywood Way, and is expected to
attract healthcare professionals from around the world along with
prostate cancer survivors, patients and family members. Prostate
cancer is the leading cause of cancer deaths among American men,
according to the Mayo Clinic. The American Cancer Society estimates
that 220,900 new cases of prostate cancer will be reported in the
U.S. this year, and that 28,900 men will die from the disease.
The conference, which is taking place in conjunction with Prostate
Cancer Month, will include discussions by renowned prostate cancer
researchers and specialists. The mission of the conference, which
organizers say is the largest of its kind in the nation, is to
“Patients need to be empowered with education,” said Glenn Weaver,
the executive director of the Prostate Cancer Research Institute,
which, along with the Foundation for Cancer Research and Education,
is sponsoring the conference. “There are a lot of treatment options,
but this is not a cookie-cutter disease.”
Officials urge spouses to come with their husbands in order to
gain some perspective on treatments and to make sure they are keeping
up with them.
Organizers have a variety of events planned for the conference.
Prostate cancer survivors Michael Milken and Harry Belafonte will
give keynote addresses. Free screenings will be from 8:30 a.m. to
1:30 p.m. Friday and from 8 a.m. to noon Saturday. Physicians and
researchers will present the latest findings in diagnostic
techniques, treatment options and nutrition.
At 8:20 a.m. Saturday, there will be a live demonstration of a
color Doppler ultrasound -- an advanced imaging diagnostic technique
-- and a biopsy. The day will also include discussion on alternatives
to chemotherapy and diet.
The Prostate Cancer and Research Institute is a nonprofit
educational and research support organization founded in 1997 by
physicians Stephen Strum and Mark Scholz.
The institute was founded after Strum and Scholz realized that
when patients were better educated about disease, their treatments
and dialogue with physicians were more meaningful and ultimately
successful, said Weaver, whose father died of colon cancer at 57.
Educating the public about the cancer, and improving the level of
care for men with the disease became the organization’s mission.