48 hours at the IMPaCT symposium in Orlando: Part III

So the question any smart prostate cancer patient should ask himself — especially if he has any degree of good scientific education — is, “How do I get myself invited to the next IMPaCT meeting?”

The answer is relatively simple.

You need to volunteer to become a consumer reviewer for the Department of Defense Prostate Cancer Research Program. They are always looking for new ones.

“What does this actually imply?” we hear you ask. So here are the basics.

First, have a look at the overview brochure that tells you about the program so that you can get a clear idea of how it works and what it has done over the past 14 years from its start back in 1997.

Second, have a look at the information about how to become a consumer reviewer on the main site of the Congressionally Directed Medical Research Program web site.

  • You must be an American citizen.
  • You need access to a computer and the Internet. (Duh!)
  • You also need to be able to meet some other very basic eligibility criteria.
  • You need to be willing to work hard on some unfamiliar issues for a short period of time each year.
  • You need to believe you can sit in a room with real specialists in the science and medicine of prostate cancer and express your opinions without being intimidated.

You also need to understand that you will be given a lot of help and support. (For example, new consumer reviewers are always assigned a mentor who they can work with to understand what is being asked of them and how to participate effectively and wisely.)

Your expenses to attend the actual peer review meetings that are held each year will be paid (but don’t expect first class travel). And you do need to be able to take the time away from work and other obligations to attend these meetings.

If you have other questions, there is a whole series of frequently asked questions (with answers) on the CDMRP web site.

As one of the women who has participated in the comparable breast cancer program is quoted as saying, “CDMRP showed me that I could play a role in the possibility of finding a cure for breast cancer. How cool is that!”

You can have the same opportunity to help to find a cure for prostate cancer … and that’s just as cool!

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