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2nd Annual Preventing and Controlling Cancer Workshop recap

A recap from the 2nd Annual Preventing and Controlling Cancer Workshop from Ashley Plum.

I attended the 2nd Annual Preventing and Controlling Cancer Workshop: Fostering Community-Clinical-Academic Partnerships put on by ASU’s Cancer Prevention and Control Translational Team. The goal of the workshop was to enhance community connections, research collaborations, and student engagement that aim to ultimately improve cancer prevention and control.

While a lot of the information that was presented was a little over my head, I learned a lot and made some great connections! There was information on new studies related to diet (what you eat/how much), physical exercise and the benefits of it post-cancer treatment, PFAS chemicals linked to cancer, reproductive outcomes, cardiovascular problems, epigenetic dysregulation, and how blood and plasma donation reduces PFAS in the body, and so much more. Brain overload, but so much great info!

There is a new study that will be happening soon, and they are starting to look for participants: Breast Cancer Reasoning and Activity INtervention (BRAIN). The study objective is to test the effects of a 6-month community-based aerobic exercise program on cognitive function and brain health in 160 women with a history of breast cancer. The study is for post-menopausal women who are within a couple years of completed treatment. If you, or anyone you know is interested, please let me know so that I can connect you to the study! I’m most excited about this study as I’m still struggling with brain fog from chemo, five and a half years out. If I could, I would participate, but I’m not in the right demographic. I hope the women who participate will greatly benefit from this study and it will prove invaluable for those who struggle with brain fog post treatment.

I was asked to present from the advocate perspective at the workshop. Sharing my story and why I am involved at Check for a Lump and the cancer community is important to me so that I can help educate people. Not just those who have not been through cancer or want to lower their chances of getting cancer, but also for those who study it. I want to be able to give them a personal perspective so that their research can have a face and a person, not just data on paper. Data is great and research is very much needed! However, I believe that it helps the researchers, doctors, and scientists do better by hearing from survivors and advocates.

While at the workshop, I was able to meet several inspiring people. One of them was Dr. Carolyn Compton. We instantly connected and she asked me to help with an event at ASU in the fall to teach students how to do proper breast self-exams. She had started planning with Holly prior to the pandemic and is now ready to get it going again. I’m excited to work with her! She has so much knowledge about cancer, I’m excited to learn from her!

After the workshop was finished, I was speaking with Dorothy and Alexis who are part of the Cancer Prevention and Control Translational Team and decided that I need to be part of that team. They are working hard to build this workshop up and I’m excited to help them from the advocate perspective. Looking forward to next years workshop and all the work in between.

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