Font Size: A A A

Survivors Keynote Cancer Summit with Panel Discussion

05 May, 2024

We all likely know at least one cancer survivor; many of us work with survivors daily, and some of us are survivors. For those who don't fall into that last category, do you really know how survivors reflect on their experiences inside and outside the clinical walls?

This year’s Nevada Cancer Control Summit kicks off with a panel of three cancer survivors in a candid conversation with moderator, NCC board member, and melanoma survivor Stacey Escalante. What do they wish they'd been told (or told sooner), what helped and what harmed them from diagnosis to the end of treatment, and what ideas do they have that can help you to refine your approach to cancer care?

We have a fantastic group of survivors joining us for this session, which we hope will ground the conference in why we’re all attending: to improve cancer control and cancer care for Nevadans.

Natalie Stevenson is a metastatic breast cancer survivor and founder of Cancer Community Clubhouse. She was initially diagnosed with breast cancer at 34 and overcame the disease, but received a stage IV diagnosis just after she turned 40. After returning from Dallas to Reno, Stevenson sought out a support network and survivorship space only to find that support resources in the area were limited. She launched Cancer Community Clubhouse, a survivorship organization with activities, education, networking and connection for cancer survivors throughout the region.

Victoria Matthews is an eight-year survivor of AML Leukemia (Acute Promyelocytic Leukemia) and a 2023 University of Nevada, Reno graduate. She describes her hero strengths as determined and optimistic and said that with her cancer diagnosis, she learned that with support and persistence, you can truly accomplish anything you set your mind to. Matthews graduated with a dual degree in biology and human development and family science with a minor in developmental disabilities. She describes her work with individuals with disabilities as deeply personal because of the challenges she overcame while battling childhood cancer.

Todd Landaburu is a senior marketing manager, volunteer, and survivor of stage 4 squamous cell carcinoma in the floor of his mouth. What he thought was an infection turned out to be cancer that required surgery: a partial glossectomy, tongue reconstruction, and the removal of the cancerous lymph nodes. He also underwent chemotherapy and radiation, but he said the psychological effects were much worse. He worked to overcome the effects of his diagnosis and treatment through exercise, prayer and meditation, and through volunteering. He volunteers with NCC, is a legislative ambassador for American Cancer Society-Cancer Action Network, an ambassador for the Head and Neck Cancer Alliance, and is on the advisory committee of Cancer Community Clubhouse.

Stacey Escalante, the session’s moderator, spent more than two decades as a broadcast reporter and was well-known in the Las Vegas market when she was diagnosed with stage 3 melanoma. She documented her treatment experience on TV, and continues to do interviews promoting sun safety and skin cancer awareness, and sees it as her mission to get people to cover up their skin and check it regularly. Escalante was part of the 2014 U.S. Surgeon General’s Call to Action on Skin Cancer, which helped to kick off NCC’s Sun Smart Nevada program and sun safety efforts across the state.

Registration is open for the 2024 Nevada Cancer Control Summit, scheduled for Aug. 23-24 in Reno, Nev., at Whitney Peak Hotel. Details here: https://www.nevadacancercoalition.org/nevada-cancer-control-summit

You May Also Like

Survivorship
2024 National Cancer Survivor Month Resources
05.13.2024
  • survivorship
June is recognized as National Cancer Survivors Month, an opportunity to celebrate the more than 18 million cancer survivors across the U.S.
a man and a woman leaning their heads together and smiling
Bringing Sexual Health into the Conversation
05.09.2024
  • nevada cancer control summit
  • palliative care
  • survivorship
NCC offers multiple opportunities to learn about sexual health and intimacy for cancer patients When Erin Sullivan-Wagner was
a man and a woman leaning their heads together and smiling
Bringing Sexual Health into the Conversation
05.09.2024
  • nevada cancer control summit
  • palliative care
  • survivorship
NCC offers multiple opportunities to learn about sexual health and intimacy for cancer patients When Erin Sullivan-Wagner was