Katie Jo Hamre | Published on July 18, 2016
Updated on February 13, 2018
The American Society for Clinical Oncology (ASCO) holds an Annual Meeting every year to bring together oncology professionals from around the world to talk about the latest in cancer research. Over five days, participants attend dozens of sessions focused on topics such as big data, clinical trial design, disparities, genomics, health policy and more.
The Annual Meeting is one of the biggest conferences in health care and cancer research, and this year was no different. More than 30,000 people attended the massive conference that took up 2.6 million square feet in Chicago. The size of the conference allows for a robust, well-rounded conversation from thousands of different people working in the world of cancer. Physicians, researchers, pharmaceutical company representatives, nonprofits and other health care groups met up to discuss how they can work together to fight cancer.
Experiencing ASCO from behind the booth was a very unique experience; I got to sit back and let the attendees come to me. While I manned the booth, a very diverse group of people passed by—some had heard of the Foundation and were inquiring about new grant opportunities and some were eager to learn about us for the first time. While many larger companies had flashy displays marketing new cancer drugs and diagnostic tests to entice the crowds, we had our mission to stand out and a cause that everyone can get behind.
The really exciting part? Talking to people who are typically focused on cancer treatments about prevention. Prevention is one of the most powerful tools we have in combatting cancer and dozens of other deadly diseases that can result from our lifestyle choices.
Conference-goers were also excited to hear about Think About the Link®, the Foundation’s national education campaign to raise awareness about the link between viruses and cancer. Attendees were particularly interested in hearing about the campaign because they’re aware of this country’s low vaccination rates and high prevalence of virally-induced cancers. We are looking forward to heading back next year with results from the first year of the campaign.
ASCO was the perfect opportunity to meet oncology professionals and continue spreading the cancer prevention message—every healthy choice we make can help Stop Cancer Before It Starts!®