(SACRAMENTO)

Cancer isn’t easy at any age, but young people navigate unique challenges when faced with a cancer diagnosis. That’s why a special collaborative event is being held just for them as they find their way through a very personal, and sometimes frightening, experience. 

Pushing Past Cancer Summit 2021: Stronger Together is a free, virtual event for adolescent and young adult (AYA) cancer patients and survivors. UC Davis Comprehensive Cancer Center is helping host the interactive forum on Nov. 6, from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. The event will cover a range of topics including: 

  • Body image after cancer
  • Forging a post-cancer identity
  • Dealing with toxic positivity and survivor’s guilt 

The summit will also feature keynote speaker Sarah Thomas, a marathon swimmer who had breast cancer as a young adult. Lunchtime musical guest Harry Hudson, a singer songwriter who survived Hodgkin’s Lymphoma when he was young, will also perform. 

The first Pushing Past Cancer summit, held in 2013, was created by the UC Davis Comprehensive Cancer Center through the efforts of a small, dedicated group of patients, survivors, and health professionals who recognized the need to build a community of support for AYA patients and families experiencing cancer. 

In 2020, a partnership was established with Stupid Cancer and the UCLA Health AYA Cancer Program to transition the conference to a virtual platform and bring it to an even wider audience. 

“The needs of adolescent and young adult cancer patients with cancer are often complex and different from younger pediatric or older adult patients with cancer,” said UC Davis Comprehensive Cancer Center AYA program manager Anna Rosenbaum. “This age group is typically coping with unique issues at the time of diagnosis, including self-identity, independence, sexual and reproductive health, relationships and family-building, and increasing school and professional responsibilities.”

Because cancer is relatively rare in adolescents and young adults, AYA patients may encounter few fellow patients their age. Young people with cancer say it's especially helpful to chat and connect with other young people who have had their own experiences with cancer.

The virtual event is open to all, but will be especially helpful for:

  • AYA cancer patients and survivors 15-39 years old
  • AYA cancer caregivers and family members
  • Nonprofit patient advocate professionals
  • Pediatric, AYA oncology nurses and social workers

Pushing Past Cancer Summit 2021 will feature breakout sessions, discussion groups and resources to support the AYA cancer experience at any stage, and an opportunity to meet peers on a similar cancer journey. Secure a spot by registering today!