Inaugural Conference on Childhood, Adolesent, Young Adult Cancers and Survivorship takes place next month
The first ever conference in Ireland on Childhood, Adolescent Young Adult Cancer and Survivorship (CAYAS) takes place next month (Saturday 11th September).
The online conference, free to attend, is being organised by three charities representing this community — CanCare4Living, Childhood Cancer Foundation Ireland and CanTeen Ireland.
The event is being supported by the National Cancer Control Programme ( NCCP), the Irish Cancer Society and Children’s Health Ireland.
Spokesperson for the event Mary Claire Rennick says “The theme for our conference is #ForwardTogether and our aim is to bring together all those impacted by or involved in the Childhood, Adolescent, Young Adult cancer and Survivorship community. We want to connect patients, survivors, parents, families, carers, advocates, health care professionals, researchers and policy makers to update, educate, network and learn from one another. We want to highlight, encourage and support collaboration within the CAYAS community and keep the lived experience at the heart of the conversation”.
“More than 300 children and young people are diagnosed with cancer in Ireland each year. A diagnosis has devastating effect on them, their families, friends and the wider community”.
“Just as each diagnosis is different, the impact is unique to each young person and their family. The challenges can be many including physical, emotional, cognitive, financial, and psychosocial. These challenges may present at the time of diagnosis, during treatment and into long term survivorship”.
“Our organising committee has put together a programme to provide updates on the current CAYAS landscape and recent developments with presentations from NCCP, ICS and CHI@Crumlin. We’ll hear from those involved in ongoing research and developments including the Childhood Cancer Fertility Programme. Our session on the lived experience will be central to all discussion and future planning. We will hear from young people and their families so we can learn from their experiences to identify the many challenges and work together to address the unmet needs”.
“Our afternoon session focussing on wellness will be of interest to everyone in our CAYAS community – we will hear from experts on physical activity and nutrition and also from psychologists who will highlight the importance of self care and provide practical advice”.
“Throughout the day there will be opportunities for all participants to pose questions to our presenters, to network with other attendees and to visit our interactive exhibition and to learn about the available supports and services.”
“As it is online event we expect excellent participation as people, who otherwise may not be able to travel easily due to the impact of childhood cancer, will be able to log on at their convenience. We are delighted about this as we know only too well how cancer impacts on the entire family and the upheaval and challenges it presents”.
“Our theme for this inaugural CAYAS Conference is #Forward Together and this belief is definitely one of our driving forces. When a project needs input and support from many different people, it’s said ‘it takes a village’; we want to bring that ‘village’ together to begin the conversation of how we can all work in collaboration to benefit children, adolescents and young people who have or had cancer, and their families. As the voice of children and young people who have or have had cancer we need that voice to be heard. Moving ‘forward together’ is vital”.
“Collaboration and the lived experience are key threads throughout the conference – our aim is that post conference people will have a good overview of what’s been happening and how the patients, survivors and carers and involved and perhaps see opportunity for future collaborations”.
Professor Owen Smith (National Clinical Lead for Children and Adolescent / Young Adults with cancer with the National Cancer Control Programme (NCCP) says
“This inaugural CAYAS conference will be a great opportunity for those involved with and impacted by Childhood, Adolescent, Young Adult cancer and Survivorship to come together to share updates, discuss the challenges and to move forward together with the lived experience at the centre of our planning. “
The CAYAS Conference takes place from 10am to 4pm on Saturday the 11th September.
Register online https://www.cayasireland.ie/