SABCS from an advocate's perspective

Every year, CURE invites one advocate who is attending the San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium to serve as a guest blogger. This year readers will be hearing from Bev Parker, PhD, a 24-year breast cancer survivor who is attending the symposium for the seventh year.This is the 34th annual San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium, and the seventh I've attended. I was lucky to escape Chicago today while a big winter storm was moving in. My anticipation of attending another landmark conference increased as I met other local breast cancer advocates at the airport. On the plane, I sat next to an oncologist who talked about the poster she was carrying, all ready for her presentation session.As I write this, I'm sitting in the big upstairs lobby of a hotel near the convention center, waiting for a dinner presentation to begin. An air of excitement wafts through the area as symposium attendees search for their various meetings, dinners, and presentations. The holiday season with the many festive decorations add to the excitement.While I'm waiting, I read the program and mark the sessions of particular interest. As a 24-year breast cancer survivor, I always look for research on survivors and quality of life studies, which mainly make an appearance in poster sessions. I plan to attend presentations on aromatase inhibitors, new chemotherapy treatments, and oral bisphosphonates. I hope information will be presented on PARP inhibitors, the role of stem cells, and genetic mutations. I look forward to the Komen awards and talks by the three award recipients. The McGuire lecture is always a highlight as are the plenary session presentations. Indications are that this will be another stellar symposium. More tomorrow!To read more articles from CURE's coverage of SABCS 2009, visit sabcs2009.curetoday.com.