Explore the Patients and Families Conference


This year's conference will be held virtually. Please check back for more updates!

Join Mass General Cancer Center staff, clinicians and other individuals living with, through and beyond cancer. All Mass General Cancer Center current and past patients and their family members and friends are welcome to attend this free annual event.

The annual Patients and Families Conference is organized by the Cancer Center’s Network for Patients & Families and the Maxwell V. Blum Cancer Resource Program and is made possible by a grant from the Conquer Cancer Coalition of Massachusetts.

2019 Conference

Finding Your Place in the World after Cancer: Opportunities and Challenges

Saturday, June 15th, 2019 | 8:30am – 1:30pm
Simches Bldg
Mass General Hospital, Boston

Cancer diagnosis and treatment can change your life forever. Even after active treatment ends, many of us can be caught off-guard by the emotional challenges we continue to face. There is often uncertainty in managing the what ifs…what if my cancer comes back, or what if I have trouble adjusting to life after cancer.

Some people describe their experience dealing with cancer as an ongoing trauma. Many may feel that they are alone in their thinking. You are not alone.

The Mass General Cancer Center community is here to support you and help answer any questions as you think about life after a cancer diagnosis. How does psychological stress affect people who have cancer? How can we learn to cope with psychological stress? What do people who have had cancer want their caregivers and family members to know? How can you be your own best advocate for better health? How can you continue to heal? What does your ‘new normal’ look like?

This free conference will address how Mass General Cancer Center is working to better recognize and combat traumatic thinking. You will be given tools and resources to help you find and maintain your emotional footing as you adapt to your new reality.


Conference Emcee: Billy Costa, Radio and Television Personality

8:30am-9:00am: Registration
9:00am-9:15am: Welcome and Introduction
  • Mara Bloom, JD

    Executive Director, Mass General Cancer Center

  • Jeff Peppercorn, MD, MPH

    Associate Professor of Medicine
    Director, Supportive Care and Survivorship

9:15am-9:45am: Presentation: Immunotherapy as Innovation
  • Justin Gainor, MD

    Director, Targeted Immunotherapy

9:45am-10:30am: Interview: Framing the Issue: A Chat with Oncology Social Work
  • Leanne Miller, MSW, LICSW

    Oncology Social Worker

  • Jennifer D'Alotto, MSW, LICSW

    Oncology Social Worker

10:30am-10:45am: Break
10:45am-11:30am: Interview: Lifestyle Medicine
  • Betsy O'Donnell, MD

    Director, Lifestyle Medicine Clinic

11:30am-12:15pm: Interview: Resiliency and Stress-Management
  • Gisele Perez, PhD

    Psychologist, Behavioral Medicine Service

12:20am-12:30pm: Closing Exercise
  • Rev. Donna Blagdan, BCC

    Spiritual Care Provider, Oncology

12:30am-1:30pm: Lunch and Networking


2019 Conference Videos

2018 Conference Videos

Own Your Story: Creating Meaning from Your Cancer Experience. How do you create meaning within your cancer experience? We all have diverse ways of making our experiences meaningful. What else have others done to find a sense of meaning from their cancer experience? Learn from patients, caregivers, and care providers and connect with others as we discover new goals and possibilities together.

2016 Conference Videos

Sustaining Hope and Cultivating Resilience: The Emotional Impact of Innovations in Cancer Therapies. This conference explored the impact of innovations on the patient experience as well as strategies for maintaining emotional balance through the ups and downs of treatment.