University of Vermont

Vermont Cancer Center's 17th Annual Breast Cancer Conference


Information for Physical Therapists

Contact Us

Questions about this year's conference? Call (802) 656-2292.


Quick Facts
  • Please register for the conference by 8:00 am on October 4, 2014. Walk-ins are welcome after the registration deadline. However, space is limited and some sessions may be closed. Register early!
  • The conference will be held at the Sheraton Burlington Hotel & Conference Center in South Burlington, Vermont.
  • The conference opens at 8:00 am with over 60 exhibits in the Exhibit Hall.
  • Sessions begin at 9:00 am and end at 4:05 pm.
  • The sessions and exhibits are free due to the generous support of the Susan G. Komen for the Cure Vermont-New Hampshire Affiliate, BlueCross BlueShield of Vermont, Front Porch Forum, and Seventh Generation.

The following sessions have been approved for Physical Therapy CCUs.

Session One


1-2: PHYSICIAN TRACK: Breast Cancer and Bone: Novel Biomarkers and Treatments / Jane Lian, PhDVCC and Marie Wood, MDVCC / This session will explore the biology behind cancer metastases to bone. Additionally, we will look at what factors influence the spread of cancer to bone and what providers can do to help prevent and treat bone metastais. This session is specifically geared toward primary care providers and other health care professionals.


1-3: Kinesio Tape Management of Trunk, Breast, and Arm Lymphedema / Julia Child, PT, CLT-LANA / This session will discuss the benefits of kinesio tape in the management of chronic and acute lymphedema. Lymphedema causes a decrease in the space between skin and muscle, resulting in constriction of lymphatic flow and pressure on sensory receptors which can cause pain and numbness. Kinesio tape applied to skin can improve lymphatic flow, resulting in a decrease in edema and discomfort associated with lymphedema.


1-8: Touch, Caring & Cancer: Simple Instruction for Family and Friends / Catherine Cerulli, M Ed and Janet Kahn, PhD, LMT / The Touch, Caring, and Cancer (TCC) program used in cancer centers, hospices, hospitals, and homes across the United States and has been found to support improved quality of life for cancer patients and their caregivers. This workshop will provide patients, caregivers, and health care professionals with simple, effective techniques such as massage, acupressure, mindfulness, and aromatherapy.


1-10: Lymph Node Transplant: A Case Study / Justine Dee, PT, MS, OCS / A lymph node transplant involves moving lymph nodes from one area of the body to another in order to help patients affected by lymphedema. This session will present the case of a patient with breast cancer related lymphedema who underwent this procedure.


Session Two

2-2: PHYSICIAN TRACK: The Continuum of Oncology Rehabilitation for Cancer Survivors / Kim Dittus, MD, PhDVCC / Cancer survivors often have specific needs when it comes to recovery and rehabilitation. We will discuss the unique rehabilitative needs of these survivors and how providers can help facilitate the road to recovery. This session is specifically geared toward primary care providers and other health care professionals.


2-5: Living with Metastatic Breast Cancer: A Panel Discussion / Rose Colletti, PhDVCC / Survivors living with Stage IV breast cancer will share stories and respond to various topics, including how they maintain HOPE and develop MEANING in the face of ongoing treatment. Audience questions and participation will be encouraged.


2-6: Choices in Prophylactic Mastectomy: Figuring out what is Right for YOU / Clare Ginger, PhD, Robert Nesbit, MD, Patti O’Brien, MDVCC , and Michelle Sowden, DOVCC / The desire for body symmetry after a mastectomy is a well-recognized need. There are many ways to try to achieve this symmetry, and this will be a discussion about the many options. Patients who have chosen very different options will be talking about their personal choices. Some women choose to “add back” a breast using their own tissue, an implant, or a prosthesis. Some women want the option to remove the “normal breast” even if they do not carry a genetic risk factor. These are very complex personal issues. The plastic surgeon and the oncology surgeon discuss with each woman to help her pick what is going to be right for her.


2-7: Ovarian Cancer Screening and Prevention / Elise Everett, MD / This session will discuss the various methods used to screen for ovarian cancer, symptoms of the disease, and prophylactic removal of the ovaries for women at high risk for disease.


2-9: Integrative Therapies in Cancer Care: Expert Panel Discussion / Philip Trabulsy, MD and Janet Kahn, PhD, LMT / A lively presentation and discussion will be presented by a panel of experts in the field regarding the growing body of evidence surrounding the clinical value of supportive cancer care using the best evidence-informed therapies from the field of Complementary and Integrative Medicine. The evidence continues to grow with regards to the use of Integrative therapies for symptom management, pain management, rehabilitation, survivorship, health promotion and cancer prevention. The clinical panel of integrative practitioners will discuss their particular healing disciplines approach to support the cancer patient. This will include such topics as integrative nutrition, natural supplements, herbal treatments, acupuncture, oncologic massage therapy, and mind-body medicine.


Session Three


3-1: Screening: When, How Often, and Why? / Tracy Dolan, Sally Herschorn, MDVCC, Benjamin Littenberg, MD, Donal Weaver, MDVCC, and Marie Wood, MDVCC / Screening guidelines change from state to state and from person to person, but what does that mean for you? This panel will discuss the multiple screening guidelines out there, explain why recommendations differ, and help you figure out how to make the choice that is best for you.


3-2: PHYSICIAN TRACK: Cancer and Venous Thrombosis: Risk Factors, Treatment, and Prevention / Neil Zakai, MDVCC / Venous thrombosis is a common complication of malignancy which affects both the quality and the quantity of life. It is important to understand the risk factors for cancer-associated thrombosis, the appropriate treatment, and novel prevention strategies in order to provide the highest quality care. In this session, we will discuss the risk factors and treatments for cancer-associated thrombosis and novel prevention strategies. This session is specifically geared toward primary care providers and other health care professionals.


3-7: Ovarian Cancer Treatments / Elise Everett, MD / This session will discuss the treatments used to treat ovarian cancer at various stages, side effect management, and research for new therapies. An overview of surgical and medical interventions used.


Lunch Sessions


L-1 Lymphedema Awareness: Developing a Lymphedema Awareness Program for Breast Cancer Survivors / Kathy Weatherly / Lymphedema is a chronic swelling and chronic challenge for many cancer patients. In this discussion Kathy will discuss methods of education and self-monitoring methods that PTs can use in their community to help breast cancer patients. Therapists will learn to develop an action plan for each patient, including taking monthly measurements and tips to help them reduce their risk of developing lymphedema. Materials will be made available for lymphedema specialists to utilize in their communities.


L-2 PHYSICIAN TRACK: Cardiac Disease and Breast Cancer / Susan G. Lakoski, MD / Treatment for breast cancer may have increased risk factors for heart disease, and care providers need to understand these risk factors and integrate them into the standard risk factors such as obesity, lipid profile, smoking, DM, and inactivity. This talk is geared for the care provider that needs to screen breast cancer survivors for heart disease. Testing guidelines, symptom management and interventions will be discussed. This session is specifically geared toward primary care providers and other healthcare professionals.


Session Four


4-1: Chemobrain / Owen Drudge, PhD, Julie Dumas, PhDVCC, Moira Mulligan, MS, CCC-SLP, and Patricia O’Brien, MDVCC / Women frequently comment that their memory declines during and after therapy for breast cancer. A panel of experts, including a cognitive expert, an oncologist, and a breast cancer survivor, discuss the science behind cognitive change and research efforts to increase our understanding of this condition.


4-2: PHYSICIAN TRACK: Deep Inferior Epigastric Artery Perforator (DIEP) Flap Breast Reconstruction / Robert Nesbit, MD / The DIEP flap is a common breast reconstruction procedure that has many benefits. This session will examine DIEP flap breast reconstruction as well as the benefits and challenges for physicians and their patients. This session is specifically geared toward primary care providers and other health care professionals.


4-5: A Multidisciplinary Approach to Breast Cancer Diagnosis and Treatment / Kim Dittus, MD, PhDVCC, Maureen Harmon, MD, Deborah Rubin, MD, Mary Stanley, MDVCC, and Erin Tsai, MD / Current breast cancer care involves the coordination of multiple medical disciplines: surgery, pathology, radiology, and specialists in chemotherapy and radiation treatment. In this session you will sit in on a reenactment of a weekly breast cancer case conference where specialists review clinical, radiologic, and pathologic findings of patients recently diagnosed with breast cancer and discuss the best approaches to treatment.


Session Five


5-2: PHYSICIAN TRACK: The Many Benefits of Palliative Care as a Part of a Comprehensive Cancer Team / Jaina Clough, MD / Palliative care is an essential piece of treatment that many providers need to know more about. This session will discuss palliative treatments from a provider's standpoint and give a comprehensive discussion on how every provider can benefit from knowing more about this field. This session is specifically geared toward primary care providers and other health care professionals. Please note that in order to fill the palliative care portion of the new CME requirements, this session will run until 3:15 pm.

5-4: Management of the Axilla in 2014: Can the Past Guide the Future? / Kari Rosenkranz, MD / The role of axillary surgery in the management of breast cancer has been a constantly evolving thing over the years. This session will explore the history of this procedure and discuss what the past can tell us about the future of treatment.

5-5: Clinical Trials and You / Chris Holmes, MD, PhDVCC / Clinical trials are among the greatest weapons we have in fighting cancer. This panel discussion will explore the world of clinical trials, how they help find new treatments for cancer, and how you can become a part of this important process.

5-6: Aromatase Inhibitors: Managing Pain, Hot Flashes, and Bone and Sexual Health / Joanna Schwartz, PharmD / This session will focus on emerging data and treatments for aromatase inhibitor-induced muscle and joint pains, vaginal dryness and pain with intercourse, and bone health. Dr Schwartz, who is a pharmacist, will also provide information on access to the treatments in the studies, such as if they are over-the-counter, prescription only, or compounding pharmacy only.

5-8: What’s New in Breast Cancer Reconstruction? / Robert Nesbit, MD / In this session, we will focus on newer techniques for reconstruction after breast cancer surgery. Some of the techniques discussed may include oncoplastic surgery after lumpectomy, nipple sparing mastectomy, and new technologies that may improve reconstructive outcomes.

Session Six


6-1: Oncology Rehabilitation – Steps to Wellness / Kim Dittus, MD, PhDVCC, Kristie Grover, PhD, Rebecca Reynolds, BS, Diane Stevens, PT / Steps to Wellness is a comprehensive Oncology Rehab program, the program will be presented by the team that provides this care. It is also a research Program and Dr. Dittus will be discussing the findings of this research, the implications will be discussed. Persons interested in joining the program will fine the overview helpful, and professionals who want to build a team in their facility will learn gain an understanding of the team development. Fitness is very important, how a structured exercise program can improve health after cancer treatment will be presented.

6-5: Symptom Control During Chemotherapy / Jennifer May, RD, CD / This session will provide helpful hints for the management of common side effects of chemotherapy, including taste changes, nausea, and constipation. The goal of the presentation will be to help patients find strategies for optimal tolerance of treatment and preservation of quality of life. Additionally, focus will be placed on the maintenance of one’s nutritional status to ensure treatment can be continued uninterrupted, and aid in healing. Information will be presented through the collaboration of a dietitian and a panel of oncology nurses. Time will be allotted for questions and discussion.

6-7 Breast Lymphedema / Kristi Johnson, PT, LANA / This session will cover the myths and mysteries of lymphedema specifically related to breast edema. Learning objectives are to obtain a basic understanding of: the lymphatic system, breast related lymphedema, risks and precautions, as well as some treatment options.

Last modified September 24 2014 11:53 AM