Once again, advocates will be prominent during the 41st annual San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium® (SABCS®) Dec. 4-8. The symposium has hosted patient advocacy groups for years. Some come to learn, some to network and others to be the voice of patients.
“It’s important to have patients at the table to help balance the conversation,” said Karuna Jaggar, executive director of Breast Cancer Action. “SABCS is the one symposium that I prioritize every year.”
Jaggar said SABCS gives her organization access to data at a level they can’t get anywhere else. She said they review that data from a patient’s perspective. “We value, respect and appreciate the work of the researchers and clinicians,” she said. “But we all benefit when we ask the hard questions to keep the focus where it needs to be.”
This is the 23rd year for the Alamo Breast Cancer Foundation to attend and the 21st year to host its Patient Advocacy Program. ABCF is bringing 25 advocates from around the country and the world for training on the science behind the breakthroughs.
“What they learn here they take back to their own states and their own countries,” ACBF's Sandi Stanford said.
Meanwhile this is just the third year attending for the Male Breast Cancer Coalition. Co-founding Director Peggy Miller said, “We keep trying to tell the world that men have breasts too. If you’ve got breasts you can get the damn disease.”
She said awareness has been boosted through the TV show, “A Million Little Things” where one of the male characters is diagnosed with breast cancer.
Sonya Negley, executive director of METAvivor said SABCS puts her organization in the right place to connect with the scientists and researchers who are extending the lives of patients living with metastatic breast cancer. Her organization’s sole purpose is funding research of stage four metastatic breast cancer.