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Community Advocacy Organization

The cancer patient’s journey explained front and center

At Karmanos Cancer Institute’s 13th annual All Cancer Symposium



Graphic by Charity Treat


Free community event features dedicated experts revealing the latest in cancer research and care


The Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute, in partnership with the Karmanos Cancer Advocacy Program (KCAP), Karmanos Cancer Network and McLaren Health Care, will host the 13th annual All Cancer Symposium on Saturday, September 9, 2023, from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. This conference is free and, for the second year in a row, is available virtually and in person at three locations throughout Michigan: Hospitality House at McLaren, G-3170 Beecher Road, Flint, 48532 (next door to Karmanos Cancer Institute at McLaren Flint) Karmanos Cancer Institute at McLaren Greater Lansing, 3520 Forest Road, Lansing, 48910 MotorCity Casino Hotel Conference Center, 2901 Grand River Avenue, Detroit, 48201 This year’s symposium, titled “The Cancer Patient’s Journey: What You Need to Know,” features presentations from multiple oncologists and specialists throughout the Karmanos Cancer Network, covering the different types of treatments and the process of determining treatment options for cancer patients. Led by Elisabeth Heath, M.D., FACP, medical oncologist and leader of the Genitourinary Oncology Multidisciplinary Team at Karmanos, experts will explain the role of imaging technology, genetic testing and clinical trials in cancer management. This year’s keynote speaker is Kathy Smolinski, MSW, JD, the director of Legal Advocacy for People with Cancer Clinic at Wayne State University (WSU) Law School. The symposium will also feature a panel of Karmanos, McLaren, and WSU experts and researchers to discuss how patients and caregivers can optimize the cancer care experience. “We can’t wait to educate people from across Michigan on the full process of the cancer care experience,” said Dr. Heath, who is also the associate center director for Translational Science at Karmanos, Hartmann Endowed Chair for Prostate Cancer Research and a professor of oncology at WSU’s School of Medicine. “The symposium is ideal for anyone who has been recently diagnosed with cancer, survivors, their family, friends, caregivers, anyone who has been touched by cancer, and the overall community who may be interested in understanding exactly what we do at Karmanos and the types of research we conduct. We will have opportunities for in-person and virtual audiences to participate in the discussions and ask questions throughout the day. If you are curious and want to learn more about cancer care, we look forward to seeing you there – there is something for everyone to learn.” Dr. Heath works closely with KCAP, a committee of patients and caregivers who are patient advocates and dedicated to educating their communities. As members of KCAP, the group reviews grant proposals for research studies, participates in panel discussions and seminars to discuss cancer research issues, advocates for patients by speaking to state legislators, and provides cancer awareness and education outreach to the community through events and health fairs. “The All Cancer Symposium allows us to bring together the communities Karmanos serves each year and teach them about the latest treatments and research advancements related to cancer happening right here in Michigan,” said Josephine Roach, five-year breast cancer survivor and KCAP member. “We hope this community event will inspire those in attendance and reassure them that better treatments are available, and those treatments are being developed at Karmanos. We also want participants to walk away knowing that beating cancer is attainable.” Additional cancer organizations will attend the Symposium to provide valuable information and resources. The American Cancer Society will also participate in one of the panel discussions focusing on optimizing the cancer care experience. Attending the event in person or virtually is free. In-person seating is limited and available on a first-come, first-served basis. Breakfast and lunch will be provided to those attending the symposium in person. Visit karmanos.org/cancersymposium to register.

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