EmilyHourihane amongspeakers atcancerevent
A large crowd was in attendance for the recent Living With Cancer Conference which took place in Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital recently.
The Conference was officially opened by Professor Bryan Hennessy, Consultant Medical Oncologist.
He welcomed the audience and said he hoped that everyone would gain valuable knowledge and hope for the future. To the amazement of many people in the room he informed the audience that in the near future there will be a breath test that can detect lung cancer and with this development coming about through the work and direct support of Necret.
The first speaker on the day was Emily Hourican, Sunday Independent Journalist and Author who has documented her diagnosis and subsequent treatment of mouth cancer through her column in the Sunday Independent.
She described her treatment which was very tough, but she got through it.
She revealed that at the time her children were 5, 8 and 12 and said the 12-year-old was particularly upset as his friends’ mum had died previously from breast cancer. She received letters, emails from ordinary people who had been through similar cancer and that kept her going knowing that others had survived.
The author now has the all clear but revealed that in the first year after her treatment she became a complete hypochondriac. Her one tip to anyone recently diagnosed is not to Google.
Next up was a panel comprising Dr David Fennelly, Oncologist from St Vincent’s Hospital, Dublin along with Professor Bryan Hennessy and Elizabeth Summersby, Clinical Nurse Manager in Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital. There were questions from the audience on the topics of genetics, family history and cancer testing for rare cancers, current treatment options and cancer genes. The panel were asked about treatments coming down the tracks that excited them.
Dr Fennelly talked about the positive and dramatic changes that have occurred in the treatment of melanoma. When he began 30 years ago there were no treatments for melanoma and now that situation has greatly improved.
Nurse Elizabeth Summersby mentioned the importance of treating the whole person with a cancer diagnosis. Psychological help is vital in keeping the person upbeat and positive.
Dave Kavanagh talked the financial side of having a cancer diagnosis. It is important that people get advice if they are having financial difficulties. It is difficult enough to go through treatment without the added burden of financial difficulties.
Louise Carolan talked about Laugher and Yoga therapy. The benefits of laughter include, a better immune system, lower blood pressure, decreased depression and pain management. Louise conducted a laughter exercise with the audience.
Karen Healy conducted a question and answer session with Mary O’Rourke. Mary talked about Brian Lenihan, her nephew. He was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and from the outset his diagnosis was poor.
Tommy Gorman spoke about his rare condition Neuro Endocrine Tumours (NET). He lives with cancer and goes for treatments on a continuous basis.
The journalist said he views his cancer as a gift as it brings a kind of liberation. We are all just passing through this life. The final speaker was Emer Lush, a yoga and meditation teacher. She believes we all have something to be grateful for at the end of each day. She did a meditation practice with the audience.
Finally the closing remarks were delivered by Elizabeth Summersby, Clinical Nurse Manager, Oncology Unit, Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital Drogheda who thanked everyone for attending the Conference. Representatives at the event included Cara Cancer Support, The Gary Kelly Centre, Arc Cancer and other sectors directly connected with cancer.
Aileen Emery and Eileen McEnteggart from The Gary Kelly Cancer Support Centre at the Living With Cancer conference in City North hotel.