Sandi Pniauskas

Wednesday, 11 July 2007

Survivors' Debate: Ovarian Cancer

Definition: Debate - discuss the pros and the cons of an issue

To HOST a Survivors' Debate Program whether a survivor, family member, caregiver or healthcare professional contact:

Sandi Pniauskas


November 23rd, 2007:

Survivors' Debate: Ovarian Cancer - Mission Statement, Roles and Responsibilities document now online (see sidebar)



Participants' Survey Responses (general): the highest rated sections of the program were the Pro/Con style debate format and the Question and Answer period.


- The whole thing was KICK ASS! (observation from healthcare professional)
- Very good program – do it again
- I really enjoyed this debate….have never been to anything like it!


- EXCELLENT presentation!
- Way to go, girls!!
- All panel members were very well prepared, intelligent and very articulate (member of the general public)


- .... the first patient-led, patient-organized Survivors’ Debates signal that the time has come for more dialog with increased participation by the very people whose stake and investment in treating cancer are greatest.

Dr. Hsien-Hsien Lei: "How times have changed. Cancer has come from being taboo to being a subject of debate. Even better, ever more cancer survivors are now leading the charge for better healthcare.

Eye on DNA Exclusive Interview:

Mission and Purpose:

The mandate of the Survivors’ Debate program(s) is to educate, to discuss and to escalate the patient/caregiver ovarian cancer voice at both the public and decision-making levels. To preserve autonomy, it is survivor-led/organized and encourages full public and healthcare professional participation. Open and spirited discussion is encouraged.

Why a Debate?

The purpose of the debate format is to understand the many views and sides of any particular issue - the pros and the cons of where we have been and where we are going. Our perspective is not one of a 'win-lose' situation, but to encourage understanding of existing issues and escalate informed and meaningful change. Debates are common within business, medical, research and scientific communities. It is time to bring these debates to the public with the Survivors' Debates forum(s) being the mechanisms to do so.

Novi, MI and Toronto, Canada: Focus

Debating the issues:

Awareness and Communication
Early Detection
Survival Rates
Access to Care

Locations/Dates:Novi, Michigan
October 27th, 2007
Toronto, Canada
November 3rd, 2007

Further information on future conference locations/registration can be located on the sidebar of this page or email:

September 30th, 2007:

Dear Patients and Healthcare Professionals:

Dr Yi Pan, (Neurologist) MD, PhD along with Annamarie DeCarlo, Managing Editor, Anne Arundel Medical Center will be moderating the Survivors' Debates in Detroit (Oct.27) and Toronto (Nov.3). The two principals of the debate are 8 & 9-year survivors Sandi Pniauskas and Carolyn Benivegna. We have 31 years of survivorship among us. Yi and Carolyn currently are in treatment for recurrent ovarian cancer. We are pleased with the support received from oncology nursing professionals, Bridget Capo and Pamela J. West.

These debates are by and for survivors, with an open-arms invitation to citizens, physicians, nurses, pharmacists, health care workers and of course, caregivers. There has been no corporate sponsorship.

We would like all citizens and healthcare professionals to know about these survivor-led forums; to let them know we are doing these forums. We wish to share the often-lost patient perspective, but also to bring a public voice to our concerns and issues which often times delay or complicate forward progression for the benefit of all.

We ask, simply, that you share the news, share the knowledge, and talk about this with your colleagues and communities. Everyone is welcome to attend and we encourage open and lively discussion.

Background information can be found through a recent interview published in 'Eye on DNA' conducted by Dr. Hsien-Hsien Lei.

Thank you.
Sandi Pniauskas

Please visit link for Registration/Information:

Recent Interview and Background Information:

Eye on DNA Exclusive Interview with Cancer Survivors Sandi Pniauskas and Carolyn Benivegna
by Dr. Hsien-Hsien Lei


  1. Sandi, Carolyn and "staff",

    Congratulations! This is an excellent concept and I wish you
    great success.

    Liz Williams
    Ovarian Cancer Alliance of Nevada

  2. Congratulations to Sandi, Carolyn, Annamarie, Yi Pan, Bridget Capo, and Pamela J. West on your new work - ovarian cancer debate.

    Your organisation will be a potent force in ovarian cancer advocacy.

    Wyllie O Hagan thank you for doing this work and wish you all the best.

  3. Hi thank u for Posting ur blog on my blog posts at
    and i hop we will help each other to make something new and help people all over the world.
    Thank u again. Stay in contact

  4. Thanks for stopping by the Birth Control Buzz blog and leaving your comment. If I lived in Toronto I would be attending hands-down. But I've gone ahead and posted the debate info so our readers can benefit. Keep up the hard work! The word needs to get out there!

  5. We wish you all the best for the first conference this weekend.
    Thank you for doing the work
    Wyllie O Hagan