Breast Cancer Conference Focused on Wellness

By Jennifer Nachbur

The Vermont Cancer Center at the University of Vermont (UVM) and Fletcher Allen Health Care presented the 14th annual Breast Cancer Conference on October 7, 2011 at the Sheraton Burlington Hotel and Conference Center in South Burlington, Vt. Themed “Being Well throughout the Cancer Journey,” the conference focused on staying active to promote physical and emotional wellness. UVM/Fletcher Allen oncologist Kim Dittus, M.D., Ph.D., associate professor of medicine, and Patricia O’Brien, M.D., associate professor of medicine, served as co-chairs of the event, which attracted more than 600 participants. The conference, which was sponsored by the New Hampshire/Vermont affiliate of Susan G. Komen for the Cure, was free and open to the public.

The Breast Cancer Conference provides education and support to breast cancer survivors, care providers, researchers, advocates, and activists. Dittus delivered a keynote presentation, titled “Exercise Beyond and During Breast Cancer Therapy”, at the reservation-only Plated Luncheon. Workshop highlights included: “Survivorship NOW! Help Us Create a Network on Wellness” featuring presenters Dittus, UVM/Fletcher Allen radiation oncologist Ruth Heimann, M.D., Ph.D., UVM/Fletcher Allen surgical oncologist Mary Stanley, M.D., and Dragonheart Vermont founder and director Linda Dyer, which focused on Dragonheart Vermont’s Survivorship NOW initiative to bridge the gap between treatment and recovery for cancer survivors by helping to create wellness opportunities; and “Researching the Cure: A Personalized Approach” by world-renowned cancer researcher and UVM/Fletcher Allen surgical oncologist David Krag, M.D., who discussed his latest work involving the development of targeted therapies – a personalized approach to breast cancer treatment that uses the body’s own immune system to fight the disease.

As usual Dana Medical Library was in attendance with a new display highlighting information on wellness and breast cancer, including many examples of books from the library’s Consumer Health Collection.

For more information about the program, visit

About the Vermont Cancer Center
The Vermont Cancer Center (VCC) is a nationally recognized comprehensive clinical and research cancer center committed to innovative cancer research, life-saving prevention and treatment programs, public education, and scientific collaboration. With more than 100 scientists engaged in a full range of basic, translational, clinical, and outcomes research, the institution plays an important role in Vermont and northern New York, influencing standards of cancer prevention and treatment across the region. VCC research is conducted primarily at the University of Vermont, and high-quality patient care is provided through the VCC’s clinical partnership with Vermont’s academic medical center, Fletcher Allen Health Care. To learn more, visit