Vital Options International, ASTRO Partner To Raise Awareness Of Cancer Survivorship, USA

As part of its continued effort to give back to the cancer communities in the cities visited during its annual scientific meeting, the Fairfax, Virginia-based American Society for Therapeutic Radiology and Oncology (ASTRO) is partnering with Vital Options International to raise awareness of cancer survivorship. Vital Options International is a not-for-profit cancer communications, support and advocacy organization with a mission to facilitate a global cancer dialogue.

Vital Options, headquartered in Los Angeles, Calif., will work with ASTRO by participating in the Survivor Circle exhibit at the Society’s 49th Annual Meeting, scheduled for October 28-November 1, 2007, at the Los Angeles Convention Center in Los Angeles. They will also be airing The Group Room, a radio show, on Sunday, October 28, live from the convention center. The Survivor Circle was created to recognize those who are living with the diagnosis of cancer. It focuses on programs offered by local organizations to help patients and their families cope with their treatments. Within the Survivor Circle, there is a place for visitors to view photos of the activities Vital Options offers to patients, survivors and their families and make tax deductible donations. One hundred percent of the proceeds collected will be given to local cancer programs.

“Organizations like Vital Options International are an important tool in the fight against cancer as they give patients and their families support while they fight their disease,” said K. Kian Ang, M.D., Ph.D., Chair of ASTRO.

Selma Schimmel, CEO and Founder of Vital Options International and The Group Room, and a three-time cancer survivor, noted the organization’s appreciation of ASTRO’s support. “The Group Room broadcast from the ASTRO meeting and recognition of Vital Options’ work within the Survivor Circle is a progressive step on the part of ASTRO in their effort to enhance communication with the patient community and their commitment to the advocacy.”

ASTRO is the largest radiation oncology society in the world, with nearly 9,000 members who specialize in treating patients with radiation therapies. As the leading organization in radiation oncology, biology and physics, the Society is dedicated to improving patient care through education, clinical practice, advancement of science and advocacy. More than 11,000 cancer treatment professionals are expected at ASTRO’s Annual Meeting.

Vital Options was the first psychosocial and advocacy organization for young adults with cancer, before expanding into an international cancer communications organization with the launch of The Group Room cancer talk radio show in 1996. Vital Options is noted for its pioneering and innovative approaches in using multimedia technology to advocate and communicate about cancer through a variety of audio and video formats including, The CancerNewsMinute, CancerTalk, and CancerTours. The Group Room is produced in association with Premiere Radio Networks and regularly broadcasts from leading US and European clinical meetings. Vital Options International has a European division based in France, at the American Hospital of Paris, with radio production partners at Radio Marsden, Royal Marsden Hospital, London, in the United Kingdom.

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