May Newsletter: OLP Students Have an Oncology Outing

OLP Students Have an Oncology Outing

By Haley Antoine ‘15

On Tuesday, April 8th, Ms. Ma’ake’s AP Biology class attended the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) Special Program for High School Students at the San Diego Convention Center with other students from across San Diego County. When we arrived at the conference center, we were greeted by the Science Education Committee Chair of the AACR, Kathleen Scotto, who introduced us to several speakers that spoke to us about different aspects of cancer. Dr. Donald S. Coffey explained to us what cancer is and how it spreads, Dr. William G. Nelson taught us how to prevent cancer, Sonia Báez-Hernández walked us through her experiences as a breast cancer survivor, and Sanya Springfield, Ph.D, the Director of the Center to Reduce Cancer Health Disparities at the National Cancer Institute, informed us how to get involved in cancer research.

We were then grouped off with a mentor who was a leader in the field of cancer research. After these intriguing talks, we went to the convention center to learn about new machines and lab tools that are currently being used for cancer research and about hypotheses that researchers have about the causes of or cures for different cancers. We returned to our conference hall and were spoken to by an 18-year old cancer survivor named Elana Simon who was diagnosed with a rare form of liver cancer when she was only 12 years old. Remarkably, at 16 years old she began to research her cancer and published her results earlier this year. The entire experience was particularly interesting as well as enthralling for us because most of us had never considered careers in cancer research. Cancer touches all of our lives in one way or another. We know now that it is up to our generation to continue on with the research so that we can finish the fight against cancer. To learn more about cancer research go to: www.AACR.org.