March 16, 2017 | For 20 years, a UAMS event has provided health care professionals with the most up-to-date information on diagnosing and treating colorectal and other gastrointestinal cancers. A second day of educational sessions, combined for the first time in 2017, expanded the offerings to include overviews of several cancer-related topics specifically for primary care providers.

UAMS’ A. Mazin Safar, M.D., (left) and Curt Hagedorn, M.D., (right) stand with Rasco Symposium keynote speaker Michael Heinrich, M.D., of Oregon Health Sciences University.

“We were happy to partner with the UAMS’ Department of Family and Preventive Medicine to join our two well-established programs and reach an even broader audience of professionals who care for cancer patients,” said Issam Makhoul, M.D., professor and director of the Division of Medical Oncology in the UAMS College of Medicine.

Makhoul also serves as medical director of the Charles William Rasco, III Symposium on Colorectal Cancer and GI Malignancies, which, coupled with the Oncology Update for Primary Care, brought together more than 200 attendees March 2-3 at the UAMS Winthrop P. Rockefeller Cancer Institute. The events featured speakers from UAMS and other institutions, including Rasco Symposium keynote speaker Michael Heinrich, M.D., of Oregon Health Sciences University, who addressed the topic of gastrointestinal stromal tumor therapy.

“The impact of two days of continuing education focused solely on cancer therapy is invaluable for our physicians, nurses and other health care providers. By using the expertise of our own physicians and outside experts, we can educate each other on the latest advances and ensure our patients receive the most advanced care possible,” said Alecia Hamilton, CME director for the Department of Family and Preventive Medicine

The Rasco Symposium on Colorectal Cancer and GI Malignancies featured booths from a variety of health care organizations.

Oncology Update topics ranged from lung cancer screenings and sexual dysfunction to medical marijuana, while the Rasco Symposium addressed issues such as pancreatic cancer surgery, living with colostomy and serrated colonic polyps. A. Mazin Safar, M.D., associate professor of medicine in the Division of Medical Oncology, served as Rasco Symposium curriculum director, and Shashank Kraleti, M.D., assistant professor with the Department of Family and Preventive Medicine, directed the content for family medicine.

Participants at the Rasco Symposium also had the opportunity to visit booths representing a number of programs and services related to research and treatment of gastrointestinal cancers. The Rasco Symposium honors the memory of Charles William Rasco III, who died from colon cancer in 1994.