In early December, eight YSC RISE advocates attended the 2017 San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium (SABCS) as part of the Alamo Scholar program to represent the unique needs of young women with  breast cancer. SABCS is the world’s largest breast cancer conference and where data on clinical trials, side effects and new treatments are released.

As part of the Alamo Scholar program, the RISE advocates had long days.  They attended multiple educational events and meetings as well as the conference itself, where new study results were presented every 15 minutes and two poster sessions each day provided yet more information and an opportunity to meet the researchers.  At the mentor session at the end of the day, the top names in breast cancer shared what they believed to be the most significant news of the day.

YSC also requested that RISE advocates create video highlights of SABCS that could be shared on social media and YSC’s YouTube channel.  The advocates did a phenomenal job of tracking down presenters to share research news with young women at home. These videos can be viewed below.

During the five days, CURE Magazine sat down with three of our RISE (Respected Influencers through Science and Education) attendees: Michele Hille, diagnosed at 40, Kate Petrides, diagnosed at 25, and Dana Stewart, diagnosed at 32.

We’re happy that CURE not only shared their stories, underscoring that young women can and do get breast cancer, but also shared their message of the importance of being your own best health advocate.

“Empower and educate yourself. Don’t just accept what your physician says. Do your research.” – Michele Hille

RISE Advocates on Advocacy, Clinical Trials, and Treatment

“There are quite a few clinical trials happening in the cancer world to help young adults with fertility. I didn’t even know that stuff was out there, so I didn’t do anything fertility-wise,” said Stewart. “I didn’t even ask.”

Petrides echoed her Hille’s thoughts.

“We’ve been programmed that there is a paternalistic relationship between doctor and patient. I think it’s really important to take a pause. When you’re first diagnosed, everything is crashing down on you and you’re overwhelmed and want to act quickly because you have this thing growing inside you that you want out,” Petrides said in an interview with CURE.

“To participate in government on that level is really important. I never thought I would do that, but now I really like it, and I can’t wait until next year,” Hille said. “There are organizations out there that can help you find your voice. The YSC has been my home.”

“Really advocate for what you want out of treatment.” – Kate Petrides

Get Involved

Learn more about the RISE (Respected Influencers through Science and Education) program and sign up to be notified when the RISE application process reopens for the next class of advocates.

On February 23-25, 2018, you’ll have the opportunity at YSC’s Summit to hear from leading oncologists and researchers on current treatment practices and latest medical updates for metastatic breast cancer. You will also have an opportunity to get your questions answered during the “Ask the Experts” session. Check out the rest of the sessions and register before January 1, 2018 for early bird pricing.

For healthcare providers, we invite you to join us on Thursday for A Different Shade of Pink: Healthcare Provider Continuing Education Series, a half-day educational seminar. Increase your knowledge on the unique issues that young women face and earn free Continuing Education Units (CEUs). Learn more about the program and register today.

(H/T Cure Magazine)

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