Living with cancer blog

Living with Cancer patient conference videos available

By Sheryl M. Ness, R.N. March 30, 2013

The Living with Cancer patient conference in Scottsdale, AZ., in January 2013 attracted more than 650 people.

For those who couldn't attend, the main session videos are now posted at under "Living With and Overcoming My Cancer. A Mayo Clinic symposium for patients and their loved ones."

Here are a few highlights:

Is my cancer inherited?
Only a small portion of cancers are related to an inherited condition. If cancer is common in your family, it's possible that mutations are being passed from one generation to the next. You might want to consider genetic testing to see whether you have inherited mutations that might increase your risk of certain cancers. Keep in mind that having an inherited genetic mutation doesn't always mean you'll get cancer. For more on this topic, see Mayo Clinic's Genetic Epidemiology and Risk Assessment Program page online.

The environment and cancer, what's the connection?
The environment around you may contain harmful chemicals that may increase your risk of cancer. Even if you don't smoke, you might inhale secondhand smoke if you go where people are smoking or you live with someone who smokes. Other chemicals in your home or workplace, such as asbestos and benzene, also are associated with an increased risk of cancer. Find out more at

Research update — pancreatic cancer
Researchers at Mayo Clinic in Florida have identified a new target to improve treatment of pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma cancer, which accounts for more than 95 percent of pancreatic cancer cases. This fast-growing, often lethal cancer is resistant to conventional chemotherapy. Clinical trials are planned based on the findings of this research.

The role of alternative cancer therapies
Alternative cancer therapies may help you cope with signs and symptoms caused by cancer and cancer treatments. Common signs and symptoms such as anxiety, fatigue, nausea and vomiting, pain, difficulty sleeping, and stress may be reduced by alternative therapies. For more on this topic, visit

These are just a few of the highlights. Feel free to share any others that you have if you were in attendance, or add to the discussion here on the blog.


Sheryl M. Ness, R.N.

March 30, 2013