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‘Living Well with Breast Cancer and Beyond’ is free, open to the public and healthcare providers

Susan G. Komen Greater Pennsylvania and Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine (GCSOM) have partnered to bring information and awareness to local patients coping with metastatic breast cancer and to the healthcare providers who care for them. Together they have planned a breast-cancer symposium on April 21 entitled, Living Well with Breast Cancer and Beyond, which will provide patients diagnosed with stage IV (metastatic) breast cancer (MBC) information on current research and clinical trials. It will also provide sessions aimed at improving a patient’s sense of wellbeing through sessions on coping strategies and diet.

Living Well with Breast Cancer and Beyond will take place on Saturday, April 21 from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine, Medical Sciences Building, 525 Pine Street, Scranton. To RSVP or to get more information, call 570-969-6072.

Several MBC experts will speak, including a Komen scholar. Komen Scholars are an international group that spans a wide range of expertise. “Advocates in Science,” Komen Scholars ensure that the unique perspectives of those affected by breast cancer are fully integrated into decisions at every step of the research process.

The Komen scholar speaking on April 21 is Steffi Oesterreich, PhD, professor, Department of Pharmacology and chemical biology director of education, University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute, Women’s Cancer Research Center, Magee Women’s Research Institute. Her talk is entitled, “What’s New in Endocrine Resistant Metastatic Breast Cancer?”

In her presentation, Dr. Oesterreich will present recent discoveries from her studies, with a focus on estrogen receptor mutations and changes in Her2 expression. She will also discuss other major recent advances, such as the targeting of cell cycle kinases (cell division is driven by protein “kinases” that regulate progression through various phases of the cell cycle). Finally, she will discuss ongoing research studies in her laboratory focused on unique aspects of metastases in patients with invasive lobular breast cancer, the second most common histological subtype of breast cancer.

Other speakers are:

  • Rosemary Leeming, MD, chief medical officer and director of the Comprehensive Breast Program at Geisinger Medical Center. Her talk is entitled, “What My Patients Taught Me that I Never Learned in Medical School.” She will discuss how treatments for breast cancer have changed over time and how including patients through shared decision-making has shaped the discussion, plus how her own perspective has evolved and how her patients have molded her outlook on cancer, faith and life.
  • Margaret Rosenzweig, PhD, FNP-C, AOCN, FAAN, professor and vice chair of research, University of Pittsburgh School of Nursing. Her talk is entitled, “Living Well with Metastatic Breast Cancer. She will discuss how treatment decisions are made for the newly diagnosed and progression of MBC, then explore new treatments under development. She will also address common concerns of women living with MBC.
  • Lisa Kutra, an MBC patient, will share her Forever Fighter story.
  • Craig Piso, PhD, a faculty member in the Department of Psychiatry at GCSOM, will present, “Co-Survivorship: Finding Courage & Strength During Life’s Biggest Challenges.”
  • Darina Lazarova, PhD, associate professor of molecular biology at GCSOM, will present, “Diet and Your Well-Being.”
  • A panel discussion will address topics like MBC research, genetics, clinical trials and effectively communicating with your healthcare team. Panel moderator: Julie Sidoni, WNEP-TV anchor and Health Watch news reporter.

About Geisinger
Geisinger is committed to making better health easier for the more than 1 million people it serves. Founded more than 100 years ago by Abigail Geisinger, the system now includes 10 hospital campuses, a health plan with more than half a million members, a research institute and the Geisinger College of Health Sciences, which includes schools of medicine, nursing and graduate education. With more than 25,000 employees and 1,700+ employed physicians, Geisinger boosts its hometown economies in Pennsylvania by billions of dollars annually. Learn more at or connect with us on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and Twitter.

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Elizabeth Zygmunt
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