CORI Presents Community Workshop on Cancer Prevention, Detection and Intervention
-- Actress And Breast Cancer Survivor, Vanessa Bell Calloway, Set To Moderate --
Vanessa Bell Calloway, actress and breast cancer survivor
Los Angeles, CA (September 22, 2013) -- Statistics show breast cancer is the most common cancer among African American and Hispanic/Latina women.
In honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, that hot button issue will be addressed in a community workshop titled, CANCER: Prevention, Detection and Intervention. Presented by California Oncology Research Institute (CORI) in association with Global Wellness Project, the event will take place 9 a.m.-12 noon, Sat., Oct. 5, at First Church of God... Center of Hope, 9550 Crenshaw Blvd. in Inglewood, CA. A continental breakfast will be served and there is free parking on site.
Actress and breast cancer survivor Vanessa Bell Calloway will moderate a distinguished panel of cancer experts that includes CORI Directors Dr. Ronald Hurst and Dr. Anton Bilchik and urologist, Dr. Dana Scott. Dr. Hurst, a breast cancer surgeon will lead a discussion on the latest advancements in breast cancer research and treatment options. The panel will make presentations and discuss other cancers including prostate, colon and general oncology.
"We need to get ahead of cancer," said Dr. Hurst, F.A.C.S. "We need to openly talk about ways to live with a diagnosis of cancer. My goal is to reach out to the community the best way I can, which is why I helped to develop the CORI Outreach Program."
Over the years, Dr. Hurst and Dr. Bilchik have been advocates for prevention. With this current workshop, they are continuing their aggressive, proactive campaign to arm underserved communities with knowledge about cancer as well as their overall health.
"This workshop will focus on cancers that are prevalent in the African-American and Latino communities," said Hurst. "Specifically breast and prostate cancers. Workshops like these offer two unique scenarios. One, experts come the community. The norm is when patients need information from the experts, they must go to the experts. Two, they are able to get great information in their own comfort zone. In addition, it's free."
Hurst said CORI's community outreach purpose is a grass-roots concept.
"It is based upon the ideology that in our best efforts as providers of medicine, our best is reactionary," offers Hurst. "No matter where a patient is treated it is reactionary. With patient education through the vehicle of workshops, we at CORI challenge the current landscape of reactionary medicine to pro-action medicine. Once patients are armed with knowledge, they can become proactive participants in their health care. If this concept can be adopted uniformly within the U.S., we could possibly have a paradigm shift in health care to impact health care economics."
Breast cancer, a disease in which malignant (cancer) cells form in the tissues of the breast, is one of the most common cancers among women in the United States. According to reports, in 2013, an estimated 27,060 new cases of breast cancer are expected to occur among African American women. Each year it is estimated that more than 220,000 women in the U.S. will be diagnosed with breast cancer.
Breast cancer is the most frequently diagnosed cancer among nearly every racial and ethnic group.
"The outcomes in African Americans is worse for breast cancer, colon cancer, pancreatic and stomach cancer to name but a few," said Bilchik. "This is likely due to socioeconomic differences and lack of access to health care."
According to Dr. Bilchik, CORI is committed to ending the health disparities in the minority population.
"Some of the ways we're going to accomplish this is by engaging the community and teaching prevention and early detection," said Bilchik, Ph.D., F.A.C.S., CORI Founder and Chief of Medicine at the John Wayne Cancer Institute at Saint John's Health Center.
During the workshop Calloway, who recently disclosed her breast cancer battle and the decision to remove one of her breasts, will share her personal story. Three years ago this Oct. 26, the veteran actress underwent a mastectomy after being diagnosed with ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS), considered one of the most common types of non-invasive breast cancers. That surgery was followed by reconstructive surgery.
"Preventative measures, that is my message," says Calloway. "Preventative care is important. Cancer doesn't care how famous you are, what kind of car you drive or who you are. It comes with a vengeance. I don't mind sharing my experience. My hope is that people in the audience will learn the importane of early detection."
The purpose of the workshop is to share information on the disease and empower women to take charge of their own breast health.
The workshop agenda includes a presentation, followed by a Question & Answer session.
CORI and Mobil Mammography, Inc. will provide free and subsidized mammograms. All women, with or without health insurance can take part. Appointments are encouraged; however, walk-ins will be accepted.
"These kinds of workshops are needed for our community," said Dr. Scott, who graduated from Drew UCLA Medical School in 2005. "I chose urology because prostate cancer was disproportionately affecting my community."
Scott said there are three things everyone should know about cancer prevention.
"Diet, exercise and regular screenings are the three things everyone needs to think about on a regular basis," she said.
According to CORI executive director and Global Wellness Project Founder Angela de Joseph, "We are delighted to have actress Vanessa Bell Calloway take time out of her busy schedule to share her testimony and moderate our panel."
The Global Wellness Project, a non-profit media company, is currently launching a syndicated TV show, "Black Health Watch."
CORI, a non-profit, is committed to curing cancer through innovative research, early detection, novel treatments, and education through community outreach efforts.
Angela de Joseph
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