Scientific Research Advocates bring the patient perspective to science

This Saturday, August 6, a free, public forum about the science behind evolving breast cancer screening guidelines will be held as part of the 30th International Association for Breast Cancer Research Conference. June Cooley, an OHSU Scientific Research Advocate, will be one of the panelists presenting from the patient perspective.

Research advocates are volunteers with a personal connection to cancer who are passionate about helping translate research findings into meaningful outcomes for patients and their families. The primary role of a research advocate is to represent the collective patient perspective, or the disease experiences of many patients, in the research process.

June’s journey began when she was diagnosed with stage 2 breast cancer in 2008 after a routine mammogram.  After interviewing local surgeons that quickly recommended a lumpectomy and radiation, she chose to be treated at OHSU where she was invited to participate in the Onko Type DX clinical trial.

After determining that she was at high risk for recurrence, it became evident that needed a mastectomy and chemotherapy. She credits OHSU care givers for saving her life.

After finishing treatment, June wanted to do more to help. “I was fascinated by the changes that were going to be possible at OHSU,” she said. “When Phil Knight made that donation and proposed the Billion Dollar Challenge, I had to be involved.”

June soon joined the first cohort of OHSU Scientific Research Advocates, a trained group of cancer survivors and caregivers who work with Knight Cancer Institute investigators to ensure that research at OHSU reflects the needs and interests of the cancer community. Advocates also support dissemination of research findings via community outreach and partnerships with community organizations.

“I’ve learned so much—the trainings have been great. I’ve attended national meetings. The advocacy program at OHSU is so well-received by the researchers and the scientists. They’re incredibly generous.”

Confronting the confusion: How to think about breast cancer screening is a free, public forum held during the International Breast Cancer conference hosted by Susan G. Komen and the OHSU Knight Cancer Institute. The event takes place on Saturday, August 6, 2016 from 2:00PM to 5:00PM PDT. Space is limited, please register to reserve your seat.

Click here for more information on OHSU’s Scientific Research Advocate Program.