Dawn and I were privileged to be able to attend the ASCO 2013 Annual Meeting in Chicago thanks to the patient advocate scholarship scheme. Finding out that we had been awarded two of just five international scholarships awarded this year made us feel particularly honoured especially as ill health meant that Dawn was unable to attend last year.

ASCO conf-65ASCO (the American Society of Clinical Oncology) hosts such a meeting each year bringing together more than 30,000 delegates from a broad range of specialties, making it an excellent venue for exploring the theme of the Meeting — “Building Bridges to Conquer Cancer”.

The venue is huge – “a vast barn” is one description I have heard – being the largest conference centre in North America. This may sound a little daunting to those of you that have attended such conferences or even been to a large exhibition centre. However, the excellent organisation and signage around the venue made that impossible.

There are many academic sessions throughout the conference as well as an exhibition and poster sessions. Of particular interest to us was the session entitled “Peritoneal Cancers, Heated Controversy (eQ&A)” and the opportunity to meet like-minded patient advocates particularly those representing colorectal and ovarian cancer.

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