By Heather Brown
The summer is just getting started and it has been about a month since Primetown 2022 wrapped up. The Primetown 2022 virtual cancer summit ran from June 2-4, 2022 and was hosted in partnership with CancerCare Manitoba and the CancerCare Manitoba Foundation.
Yet again it was a great virtual cancer conference to take in. As a young adult who was diagnosed with cancer almost five years ago now, I personally look forward to these events and they always seem to come along at a time when I am feeling worn out and a bit disconnected. At the end of the conference, I find myself engaged, feeling better connected to my fellow young adult cancer survivors and inspired to incorporate the information and supportive resources that I have learned about over the span of the weekend.
The event brought together over 750 people, from young adults who have received a diagnosis, to caregivers and supporters, parents, and healthcare professionals from coast to coast to coast! It was an opportunity to share knowledge and enable attendees to learn more about how cancer care is different for young adults.
I was eager to participate in the sessions that were geared towards young adult survivors. I also had the opportunity to volunteer as a session host to assist our session presenters. I enjoyed this volunteer role, as it connected me to sessions that had great content along with wonderful presenters. These were sessions that I may not have personally chosen to attend myself, but I appreciated learning more about these topics. I left each session with gratitude and having learned something new.
There were so many sessions and they covered a variety of topics about cancer and the impacts of a cancer diagnosis as a young adult. There was content specifically focused for caregivers and other sessions organized for healthcare professionals. Having these two additional streams in the conference is helping to positively influence the care and support for young adults who receive a diagnosis, helping to create dialogue and understanding of the spectrum of needs and supports that young adult cancer care should include.
The summit included many short video clips of young adult survivors sharing their experiences. These were incorporated into many sessions and are always powerful to experience. Some more of the awesome sessions included:
- Keynote Speaker Ethan Zohn from Survivor
- The Cancer Patient And The Online Cancer Community
- Gentle movement, mindfulness, and meditation sessions
- Understanding Adherence In Young Adults With Cancer
- Precision Oncology;
- A panel on Reflections On Virtual Care For Young Adults With Cancer
- “The Music Sounds Like I Feel”: Using Music To Express And Process Emotions
- Medical Charting Practices And Young Adults: Is It Any Different?
- Sexual Wellbeing And Cancer and a Sex with Cancer Presents: “Unexpired Pleasures” film screening with a Q&A
- This Should Not Be Happening: Caring For A Young Person With Cancer
- Health Data: By Me For Me
- Communication Between Healthcare Providers And Young Adults With Cancer About Sexual and Reproductive Health
- Money Matters And Financing
- Building A Toolbox To Manage Fear Of Cancer Recurrence
- A panel on Supporting 2SLGBTQIA+ Young Adults With Cancer
- What Am I Supposed To Do: When Your BFF Or Partner Has Cancer
- Having The Discussion, Watching What Arises: Advanced Care Planning for Young Adults
- Reimaging Young Adult Cancer
And SO MUCH MORE!
Attendees also had the opportunity to go back to the platform and watch the recorded sessions if they had missed a session or just wanted to re-watch it. I found this very helpful to catch the sessions that I had missed while at work. This is a perk of a virtual conference!
This year, a terrific addition to Primetown was the resources section on the conference platform. This section had tons of information about cancer support agencies and resources and direct links to their websites.
There were also some fabulous social activities hosted by the social committee, which are always a great time to help unwind from the busy day of sessions. There was something for everyone to do — games, Yakkity YACC social chats, a parents and guardians chat, and creative social activities to enjoy.
A HUGE thank you to YACC staff, CancerCare Manitoba, CancerCare Manitoba Foundation, and all of the presenters, attendees, and volunteers for making the Primetown 2022 a stellar event!
See you at the next Primetown!