The inaugural Bi-National Blood Cancer Symposium

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EL CENTRO – The Cancer Resource Center for the Desert and the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society are hosting the inaugural Bi-National Blood Cancer Symposium from 10 a.m. to noon on Sept. 6 at Imperial Valley College in the Health Sciences building, room 2774.

In Imperial County, 70 adults will be diagnosed with a blood cancer this year, according to estimates by the California Cancer Registry.

The free event is open to the general public and will feature discussions by various medical experts from both sides of the U.S.-Mexico border, providing invaluable information for those affected by blood cancers like leukemia, lymphoma and myeloma.

Speakers include Dr. Horacio Rodiles who was recently appointed to the United States Section of the United States Mexico Border Health Commission, as well as Dr. Syed Hasnat Ahmed, director of oncology and hematology at El Centro Regional Medical Center.
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“While we are separated nationally and linguistically, the Imperial and Mexicali Valleys are, in reality, one geographical valley.”
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“While we are separated nationally and linguistically, the Imperial and Mexicali Valleys are, in reality, one geographical valley.” said CRCD CEO Diana Peacher. “We share the same air, water, and topography. We wondered if there are similar blood cancer statistics on the Mexican side of the US/Mexico border and if the same treatment options are available there. The Bi-National Blood Cancer Symposium will answer those questions. Our hope is that it will raise more questions giving researchers an opportunity to consider further investigations.”

The CRCD and LLS want to inform the community about who are statistically more vulnerable to the disease, the importance of preventative medicine and screenings, and what treatment options are available.

Topics will include changes in the health status of the Valley; statistical data regarding blood cancers in the Valley as compared to the rest of the state; symptomology and diagnoses; use of local and regional treatment resources; bone marrow transplants; blood cancer statistics and treatment options in Mexicali; and the role of diet in cancer prevention.

Presentations will be in both English and Spanish with translation services available. A tentative schedule includes welcoming remarks at 10 a.m., speakers between 10:10 a.m. and 11:20 a.m., a question and answer session at 11:35 a.m. and concluding remarks at noon.