Healthy Choices

Cancer survivor hosts free symposium with local oncologists

Elk Grove resident Robert Rose, a 26-year cancer survivor, and his wife, Ethel Rose.
Elk Grove resident Robert Rose, a 26-year cancer survivor, and his wife, Ethel Rose. Robert Rose

Twenty-six years after an ominous cancer diagnosis, Robert Rose is on a mission to bring hope to cancer patients and their families.

On Saturday, he’s organized a Community Cancer Symposium that brings together nine panelists, including two cancer survivors and seven oncology specialists from Dignity Health, Kaiser Permanente, Sutter Medical and UC Davis. They will discuss cancer diagnoses, how to understand procedures and ask questions, new research, support groups and other cancer-related topics. Questions and answers will come afterward.

The free event, which welcomes walk-in visitors, will be held from 9 a.m. to noon at First Baptist Church, 8939 E. Stockton Blvd., in Elk Grove. Preceding the panel discussion will be a screening from the PBS series “Cancer: The Emperor of all Maladies,” based on the Pulitzer Prize-winning book by Siddhartha Mukherjee.

A former Methodist Hospital board member, Rose helped start the hospital’s cancer resource center in 2001 and has been leading a cancer survivors group for years.

“We want to project hope about progress that’s been made with different cancers. Cancer doesn’t always have to be a death notice,” said Rose, a 75-year-old retired executive from the bakery industry. After getting a six-months-to-live diagnosis of colon cancer in 1989, the Elk Grove resident endured 17 grueling surgeries over seven years.

Claudia Buck: 916-321-1968, @Claudia_Buck

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