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CORI's Community Outreach Program

September 17, 2011 - Regency West

While the prostate-cancer education event at PIPS restaurant targeted the male population, CORI also continued its efforts to bring cancer knowledge to the general public in Los Angeles's underprivileged communities. The event, held on Saturday, September 17, 2011, took place at the Regency West in the Crenshaw neighborhood. Celebrity actress, Vanessa Bell Calloway, generously donated her time to moderate the event.

The podium was set aside, and the stage was dismissed. The CORI panel sat in a circle with the participants, breaking the formal structure and creating an intimate, safe atmosphere where questions and opinions could be freely expressed.

In order to provide a broad base of cancer expertise, CORI's Dr. Anton Bilchik and Dr. Ronald Hurst teamed up with Dr. Thomas Johnson, Dr. Jenny Ru and Mr. Richard Hart to give presentations and answer questions.

Dr. Johnson, a urology specialist, opened the event with a presentation on prostate cancer and the various cancers that can affect the urinary system. Dr. Hurst followed with a discussion of breast cancer and the spiritual component in the healing process. Dr. Bilchik described the future of cancer treatment, such as the concept of tailoring therapy so that it is gene-specific and individualized for each patient. Dr. Ru, a trained expert in the treatment of hematology and oncology diseases, offered various suggestions to the many lifestyle changes that one can make to lessen the risk of cancer. Mr. Hart, a program director at the Cancer Support Community Benjamin Center (formerly known as The Wellness Community), concluded the presentations by giving perspective on the psychosocial effects of cancer and the ways to deal with the trauma beyond the physical realm.

A lively Q&A session followed. The participants posed questions ranging from symptoms of breast cancer to the necessity of taking chemotherapy medications. Mrs. Calloway shared some of her own experiences with breast cancer and inspired others at the event to do the same.

Janice Dominga Thompson, an attendee of the event and a cancer-survivor, said, "These events are very helpful. It is so much easier to understand the facts about cancer when it comes directly from the doctors, as opposed to out of a book. I appreciate that the information is not just coming from doctors, but from oncologists! We are getting the knowledge straight from the experts."


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