For 40 years, the UT Health San Antonio MD Anderson Cancer Center has been on the cutting edge of helping patients survive their battle with the disease.
In addition to world-class treatment facilities, the center has offered classes, group sessions and nutritional counseling that give patients a better chance to live through the experience.
One of the highlights of the center’s efforts is an annual conference honoring cancer survivors and caregivers. Cancer Center staff and others teach coping skills and offer programs aimed at improving quality of life.
This year’s conference, entitled “Surviving & Thriving: 40 Years of Cancer Survivorship,” was held August 28 at the Greehey Children’s Cancer Research Institute.
The institute is located on the campus of UT Health San Antonio. The conference was offered free of charge and was open to all cancer survivors.
The featured speaker was Charlie Lustman, a singer, songwriter and cancer survivor, who has performed around the world. Lustman, who had sarcoma cancer, shared his cancer journey in song and stories.
Lustman is touring the world with his 2015 Musical HOPE Campaign, featuring his unique one-man pop opera that chronicles his battle with Osteosarcoma (bone cancer.) He calls the opera, “Made Me Nuclear.”
“I lost my upper jaw to cancer,” recounts Lustman. “Now I am living my dreams and singing better than ever before. You know, what doesn’t kill you makes you sing better.”
His inspirational message resonates with his audiences in theatres, cancer centers, at health conferences and survivorship events everywhere.
Also featured at the conference was Dr. Ian Thompson, the director of the Cancer Center and an enthusiastic advocate for patients. The program also included Dr. Andrew Brenner and Dr. Michael Wargovich, both of the Cancer Center.
The annual conference is hosted by the Cancer Center's Patient and Family Services, which offers programs and classes for cancer patients and their caregivers year round.
Click here for a full list of upcoming events.