More than 600 young breast cancer survivors will gather in Austin, Texas, for the 4th Annual Young Survival Coalition (YSC) Summit. For such survivors, it’s the only national conference.
In addition to those diagnosed with breast cancer before their 41st birthday, the March 8-10 YSC-sponsored event targets “co-survivors” — those who offer emotional, physical, financial, or spiritual support — plus healthcare providers and patient advocate leaders.
Along with the opportunity to network, the conference features sessions from top oncology and supportive care experts. There will be motivational speakers, educational and psychosocial workshops, and wellness activities. Participants are expected to get the most current, evidence-based information needed to make quality healthcare decisions.
The fee for the summit at the Renaissance Austin Hotel is $180 through March 1; $200 on-site, including meals. Go here to register. Fee waivers, travel grants and fundraising opportunities are available to defray costs.
Session topics will include nutrition, treatment side effects, talking with children, intimacy, meditation, dating, fertility, family planning, genetics, healthy lifestyle changes, and managing others’ emotions. There will also be wellness activities, a cocktail reception, a dance party and a “guys-only hangout.”
“The energy at the YSC Summit is amazing. For most of our attendees, they are the youngest person in their oncologist’s office back home,” Jennifer Merschdorf, YSC’s chief executive officer, who was diagnosed with breast cancer at 36, said in a news release. “This conference provides a space where they can meet people going through similar experiences. Some are meeting other young survivors for the first time. That’s powerful.”
Founded in 1988 by three young survivors, YSC is the leading organization dedicated to young adults affected by breast cancer.
Currently, more than 250,000 adult U.S. residents were diagnosed with breast cancer before they turned 41, the news release states. Roughly 12,000 young adults will be diagnosed this year.
The sessions are designed to offer information to young adults at all stages of diagnoses. For example, a session for young adults diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer will address challenges and issues not necessarily faced by early-stage survivors. These women will learn more about research updates, emotional health, and leaving a legacy.
Long-term survivors will hear about issues such as fear of recurrence, weight change, intimacy, long-term survivorship, and diversity in the breast cancer community.
Each breakout session will feature a workshop geared to co-survivors and their particular needs. Co-survivors will also attend Breast Cancer 101 — a crash course in the science of breast cancer.