FIRST Carcinoid Seminar
March 3 & 4, 1999
Sarasota, Florida

The idea for the history making FIRST Carcinoid Seminar, which was held March 3 and 4, 1999, in Sarasota, Florida, was conceived and developed by Dianne Comstock, RN, M.Ed.,a local nurse with carcinoid cancer herself.  (See Dianne's web site FOCUS: Florida Options for Continual Updating Skills at

After my return home I sent e-mail to all of my carciniod friends (both on the support mailing-list -- see above -- and those not on the support mailing-list), several small parts of that e-mail message are below:

"And a good time was had by all....." is an old saying, but it surely applies to the past few days!  We have made history, and it was wonderful - in my book!  ......  The FIRST carcinoid seminar was held last week in Sarasota, FL, March 3 and 4, 1999.  It was wonderful!  Dr. Lowell Anthony, of LSU in New Orleans, LA, was a good speaker with a great deal of information to share, and very good illustrations with slides.  We all wished for more time to ask him more questions!  .......  Seeing so many ole on-line friends was wonderful!  Putting faces to the names we already knew and meeting new people was exciting!  Everyone was so friendly and enjoyed networking with others that the time passed all too quickly!
By my count there were attendees from all over North America (from three places in Canada & from 16 states).

A pre-seminar press release follows:         Patients With Rare Cancer To Meet In Sarasota

     More than 60 patients and caregivers from throughout the United States and Canada, all with a very rare form of cancer, will converge upon Sarasota's Wellness Community March 3rd and 4th to participate in a seminar designed to help them learn more about their illness and its treatment options.
     The Wellness Community (of Southwest Florida), with Novartis Oncology and Sarasota Memorial Hospital, will sponsor the seminar for patients with carcinoid cancer.  The Keynote speaker will be Dr. Lowell Anthony, an internationally known author and lecturer in medical oncology and one of the leading experts in the world on carcinoid cancer.
     Carcinoid cancer is a poorly understood condition that involves the slow growth of tumors that are mid-way between the classifications of benign and malignant.  They have been called "cancer in slow motion" because even though they have the potential for being fatal, they tend to grow so slowly that people afflicted with these tumors often live for many years after diagnosis, sometimes for a normal lifetime.  However the chemicals and hormones that are made by functioning carcinoid tumors can wreak havoc on the cardiovascular, gastro-intestinal, pulmonary and other systems of the body.  Resulting problems can often be worse than the symptoms from the growth of the tumors themselves.
     The idea for the Sarasota program which was the brainchild of a local nurse with carcinoid cancer herself, has really caught on, particularly through promotion on the internet.  "We found out that many carcinoid patients have a great thirst for more knowledge about their illness, so much so that they're willing to travel from all over, at their own expense, to come and hear Dr. Anthony," explained Dianne Comstock, RN, M.Ed.
     Comstock, who volunteered her organizational skills for this event, regularly takes advantage of the free support programs and stress reduction presentations offered at The Wellness Community.  "The Wellness Community's mission is to provide free support to cancer patients and their families, so this just made perfect sense," she points out.
     Dr. Anthony will also speak to local physicians in separate presentations on new approaches and treatment of carcinoid cancer.  "We're very fortunate to have one of the world's experts on this illness coming to our facility," said Dr. John Kleinbaum, a psychologist who supervises The Wellness Community program.
     Kleinbaum will offer a seminar for the attendees which focuses on relaxation and visualization techniques.  A yoga class and the opportunity for social networking round out a program which has evolved into a retreat for people with carcinoid cancer.
      For more information, visit the Carcinoid Foundation Web site at or call The Wellness Community at 941-921-5539.
----  end of press release

The schedule of events:
Wednesday, March 3, 1999
Location: The Wellness Community, 3900 Clark Rd., Bldg. P-3, Sarasota, FL
1:30 - 2:30 P.M.  Relaxation/Visualization - Techniques for Cancer Recovery led by John Kleinbaum, Ph.D.
2:30 - 3:00 P.M.  Break, with healthy snacks (they were more like a healthy meal)
3:00 - 5:55 P.M.  "Ask the Doctor" about Carcinoid - with Dr. Lowell Anthony, M.D.
5:30 - 7:00 P.M.  Yoga/Meditation Class led by Linda Lee, BA, LMT
6:00 -                    Dr. Anthony addressing a meeting of medical doctors ONLY
6:30 -                    Gathering and dinner in a local restaurant

Thursday, March 4, 1999
Location: The Wellness Community (see above)
10:00 - 11:15 A.M.  Organizational/Planning Meeting for the next Carcinoid Seminar in Sarasota, FL

Location: Waldemere Medical Plaza, Papaya Room, 1921 Waldemere Street, Sarasota, adjacent to Sarasota Memorial Hospital
12:30 -  1:00 P.M.  Luncheon
  1:00 -  2:30 P.M.  Lecture "Carcinoid Syndrome: Diagnosis and Treatment Management, New Approaches" by Dr. Lowell Anthony, M.D., Louisiana State University Medical Center, Division of Hematology/Oncology, New Orleans, LA.*

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