Last month I was privileged to attend the first meeting of the National Women Survivors Convention along with 1000 attendees.  These women are an extremely enthusiastic crowd who have been in the struggle of their lives for anywhere from a few months to many years. This convention was developed and organized by two extremely powerful women, Karen Shayne and Judy Pearson and many of their friends, colleagues and associates for a first time event.  The conference was held in Nashville at the Gaylord Opryland Resort & Convention Center.

These women are the vanguard of the thousands of women that will be attending this conference in the future.

80% of the women who attended had previously had breast cancer.  Many speakers including Dr. Susan Love gave talks centered around living with cancer and defeating it.  There was plenty of time to socialize and swap war stories with other women who have been there.  It was a chance to socialize while also having fun. The survivor’s fashion show was a great hit as was the evening at the Grand Ole Opry.

An important part of the convention was built around a women’s “second act.”  This second act centers around helping other women who are experiencing cancer for the first time, or going through relapses.  It is the second act for many of these women, so it was about how to lessen the burden of cancer and connect with other women who have had or are having a similar experience.

I was particularly pleased to be there because it gave me as a physician a look at cancer and the effects of cancer not just from a clinical point of view, but rather a much more human understanding of what women experience.

I invite all of the women who see this, who have had cancer, particularly breast cancer to look up the website at www.survivorsconvention.com and possibly join the Women Survivors Alliance and help this organization grow because they are doing important work for women who are going through cancer, or who have survived cancer. There are seven million women alive who are surviving cancer.  This organization is necessary to help bring them together to be a real force in improving and lengthening the lives of cancer survivors.

The next convention is scheduled to again be held in Nashville, on July 31, 2014 to August 2, 2014.


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