Public Release: 

Changing Life, Challenging Cancer conference

Wellness House and Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine sponsors

Wellness House

Chicago -- Five internationally renowned cancer experts will headline the Midwest's first national symposium on psychosocial oncology, a critical growing field of cancer care that emphasizes psychological, social, and behavioral healing methods.

Jointly sponsored by Wellness House and the Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine, the Changing Life, Challenging Cancer conference will be held from September 26-28, 2002, at the Wyndham Drake Hotel in Oak Brook, IL.

"This unique and innovative conference will allow healthcare professionals and people affected by cancer and their families to receive state-of-the-art information, inspiration, and access to renowned professionals who rarely visit the Midwest," said Marilyn Perlman, Ph.D., Director of Special Programs at Wellness House. "The conference will focus on how people with cancer can empower their recovery and well-being through nutrition, exercise, stress reduction, social support, and spiritual exploration."

Every year more than half a million people die of cancer and 1.2 million are newly diagnosed. More than 8 million people and their families are living with cancer. The Changing Life, Challenging Cancer conference organizers hope to build awareness about the current needs of people affected by cancer and their families. The nationally renowned presenters will discuss their research and work related to cancer in the fields of nutrition, exercise therapy, environment, psychosocial influences, community and integrative medicine.

Northwestern University's Judith Paice, Ph.D., will discuss pain management, often a serious and difficult part of any cancer treatment. "The good news is that cancer pain can be relieved in the vast majority of cases," she said, "by using simple and available medications and non pharmacological therapies such as relaxation, massage and guided imagery."

Other issues to be addressed include:

    "Cancer Survivorship: Looking Beyond Cure" -- Julia Rowland, Ph.D. Director of the Office of Cancer Survivorship at the National Cancer Institute.

    "Choices in Healing: Integrating the Best of Conventional and Complementary Approaches to Cancer" -- Michael Lerner, Ph.D., author of Choices in Healing and founder of Commonweal

    "Living Downstream: An Ecologist Looks at Cancer and the Environment" -- Sandra Steingraber, Professor of Ecology at Cornell University, and author of Living Downstream: An Ecologist Looks at Cancer.

    "Let Food be Your Medicine" -- Dr. Joel Evans, Gynecologist and Holistic Physician and Founder and Director of The Center for Women's Health in Darien, CT.

In addition to these headline presentations, conference participants can expect to discuss and learn about a wide variety of cancer care therapies, issues and trends, including how the environment, exercise, nutrition, stress, and other personal choices may influence cancer recovery and quality of life.

While this is the first conference on psychosocial oncology of this magnitude, in the Midwest, Dr. Perlman thinks it is the start of a new era for cancer care in the area. "Wellness House is proud to be the springboard for this exciting venture," she said. "We hope that the conference will facilitate a forum for the exchange of ideas and the establishment of a professional network and community for cancer support in the Midwest."


Registration information is available at 630-323-5150, or Continuing Education credits are available to physicians, nurses, and social workers.

Wellness House is a not-for-profit organization offering psychosocial support programs to people with cancer and their families. All services are offered free of charge. Since opening its doors in 1990, Wellness House has become nationally recognized and has served more than 14,000 people with cancer and their loved ones.

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