This weekend, April 11 and April 12, Living Beyond Breast Cancer will host its Annual Conference for Women with Metastatic Breast Cancer
The conference, held at Loews Philadelphia Hotel, will feature guest speakers from around the United States who can address various facets of the struggle and healing process for women with metastasized breast cancer.
Now in its ninth year, the event provides guests a series of sessions and workshops
that cover the physical symptoms, clinical data, and mental health dimensions of effective care and treatment.
According to Newsworks
, this year's conference will include a new program called "Hear My Voice," a patient advocacy forum for participants to share their stories and encourage more women to get involved in scientific research that can benefit from their personal experiences.
The Metastatic Breast Cancer Network
estimates that 20-30 percent of all breast cancer cases will become metastatic. In the United States alone, more than 155,000 people are estimated to have Stage IV, or metastatic cancer, in which the disease spreads to other parts of the body, such as the bones, liver, lungs, and brain.
One of the women participating in the "Hear My Voice," Susan Axler, described to Newsworks the unique hardships of advanced cancer.
"You have a sense of guilt that it came back, you didn't do yoga correctly, you didn't eat the right things, and it just came back," she explained. "You have different feelings, you go to a regular support group, and you are the face of somebody whose cancer has returned."
For women like Axler, the Living Beyond Breast Cancer conference is a vital outlet and support system to connect with others who both understand and are working to overcome their illness.