Scripps 32nd Annual Oncology Nurses symposium was held from October 7-10, 2012 where 268 attendees from across the country and around the world convened at the Hilton San Diego Resort. Peg Ford, an ovarian cancer survivor and research advocate, is Chair, Ovarian Cancer Advocacy Alliance (OCAA) of San Diego. She addressed the conference attendees at the opening dinner symposium on Sunday, October 7, 2012 on a matter of great urgency, “Ovarian Cancer—the Silent Killer! NOT ANYMORE!
As there is no screening test for early detection of ovarian cancer, a poor five-year survival rate of only 45% for late-stage disease, and with the sad awareness that most women will face recurrences, Peg Ford launched the “Survivors Teaching Students: Saving Women’s Lives® (STS)” Program of the Ovarian Cancer National Alliance (OCNA) to third year medical students at UCSD School of Medicine in December 2008. Since then, once every six weeks, a team of ovarian cancer survivors goes in on the students OB/GYN rotation, to do a one-hour presentation where they share their experiences with the goal to increase the awareness of the students of the symptoms and risk factors for early detection of ovarian cancer. Currently, they are in their fifth consecutive school year at UCSD.
She further expanded the STS program to reach student nurses in ten Schools of Nursing throughout San Diego County, and collaborated with a well-known San Diego Gynecologic Oncologist, Dr. Afshin Bahador, in six of his CME’s presentations to major hospital campuses of both Scripps and Sharp Healthcare organizations. Dr. Bahador presented the clinical information and Peg and another survivor shared the humanistic side. To-date, STS Program San Diego (all volunteers) has made 61 presentations to 1,767 practicing medical doctors, residents, medical students, nursing students and healthcare providers and they are just getting started!
OCAA’s mission is to affect change in the way medical doctors consider diagnosis and treatment of ovarian cancer by educating the medical community, organizations and community at large to accomplish early diagnosis, improved treatment options and eradicate ovarian cancer. One other important initiative is to advance ovarian cancer research towards early diagnosis, improving the quality of care and to address legislative and regulatory issues that affect ovarian cancer care and research.
Further expansion is underway for an outreach STS Program to present to community organizations. Anyone interested should contact Peg Ford at 619.437.8438 or email@example.com.
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