UVA Cancer Center event connecting researchers with those they’re trying to help

UVA Cancer Center is bringing researchers and community members together to talk about cancer disparities.
Published: Nov. 16, 2023 at 2:29 PM EST
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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - UVA Cancer Center is bringing researchers and community members together to talk about cancer disparities.

A symposium was held at the Graduate Hotel Thursday, November 16.

“We brought together partners from across our communities, our UVA faculty, and as well as our students to come together and just share a lot of the information and programming and research that’s happening not only here in the local-Charlottesville region, but really across the state and even into West Virginia,” Professor Jamie Zoellner said.

“All of these researchers and these community members learning best practices from each other and learning what works well is going to extend access, and that is really going to help with a lot of the disparity,” Deborah Clarkson said.

Clarkson is with UVA Cancer Center’s Community Advisory Board, as well as cancer survivor.

“I was diagnosed the first of May, but didn’t get my first treatment until the middle of July, and that frustrated me very greatly,” she said.

Clarkson says she understands the need for more access to cancer care, especially in rural areas.

“I had to drive an hour to go to my treatments, whereas other people in urban area might be less than a half hour. So, there’s those challenges,” Clarkson said.

Prof. Zoellner says events like this allow researchers to directly hear what the needs are and where their focus should be in the future.

“UVA has always been a shining star in terms of what’s happening in terms of basic and clinical science,” the professor said. “We’re just trying to expand that a little bit, and really thinking about prevention and early detection. How do we get people access to screenings? And then even on the tail end: What about survivorship?”

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