Eleventh Annual Breast Cancer Survivors’ Day Slated for April 12 in Springfield

SPRINGFIELD — Baystate Medical Center will host its 11th Annual Breast Cancer Survivors’ Day, “Celebrating Life,” on Saturday, April 12, at the Springfield Sheraton. The event, sponsored by Baystate Medical Center’s Comprehen-sive Breast Center and Rays of Hope, will be held from 8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.

“We are dedicating this day to celebrating the lives, strength, and perseverance of all women who have been diagnosed with breast cancer,” said Dr. Grace Makari-Judson, medical director of the Comprehensive Breast Center, part of the Baystate Regional Cancer Program.

The program will begin at 9 a.m. with a welcome by Carol Baribeau, the Rays of Hope chair for 2008.

After the welcome, keynote speaker Dr. Carolyn Kaelin, a breast cancer survivor and breast cancer surgeon who founded the Comprehensive Breast Health Center at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, will speak on “Health and Breast Cancer — a Survivors’ Guide to Rehabilitation and Fitness.” She is the author of Living Through Breast Cancer and produced the DVD The Breast Cancer Survivor’s Guide to Fitness. In her presentation, she will suggest strategies for facing the physical and emotional challenges of a breast cancer diagnosis, as well as the benefits of physical activity, sound nutrition, and maintaining a healthy body mass index in decreasing the chance of breast cancer reoccurrence, improving long-term survival, and enhancing quality of life.

There will be two workshop sessions throughout the day, and participants will have the opportunity to choose one workshop from each session. The first workshop sessions will include “The Use of Breast MRIs in the Evaluation and Treatment of Breast Cancer,” “Cancer Prevention Fact Versus Fiction,” “The Power of Perception,” “Tai Chi for Health and Wellness,” and “Let’s Move (Vamos a Mover),” presented in Spanish.

The second workshop sessions will include “Chair Yoga,” “Intimacy and Sexual Function after Cancer,” “Options for Breast Reconstruction in 2008,” “Mindfulness-based Approaches to Health and Well-being,” and “Healthy Eating, Healthy Lifestyle (Alimentation Saludable, Estilo de Vida Saludable),” presented in Spanish.

There will be an opportunity for viewing exhibits in the morning and during breaks, and some vendors will have products for sale. After workshops, a luncheon buffet will be served at 12:30 p.m.

Chaplain Ute Schmidt of the Spiritual Services Department at Baystate Medical Center will facilitate a special feature: “Walking the Labyrinth” with musical accompaniment by Donna Grady.

The fee to attend Breast Cancer Survivors’ Day is $20. For more information, call Patricia Collins at (413) 794-9556.