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University of Iowa News

Oct. 18, 2005

UI Hosts Nov. 4 Conference On Aging, Decision-Making And Cancer

A one-day conference from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday, Nov. 4, at the University of Iowa will focus on how applied cancer research can benefit from the field of basic decision-making. The conference goal is to increase understanding of how processes involved in decision-making affect health-related choices made by people with or at risk for cancer.

The event requires pre-registration and is open to all, including students, the general public, researchers and clinicians. The sponsors are the UI Cancer and Aging Program and the Department of Neurology in the UI Roy J. and Lucille A. Carver College of Medicine.

The conference will be in held in the Kelch Conference Room (Room 1289) in the Carver Biomedical Research Building (CBRB) on the UI campus. The presentations will be preceded by a continental breakfast from 7:30 to 8 a.m. The registration fee is $15 if paid by Oct. 31, and $25 for late registration. The fee covers the cost of materials, breakfast and lunch.

Ellen Peters, Ph.D., from the Decision Research Institute and the Institute for Cognitive and Decision Sciences at the University of Oregon, will be the keynote speaker.

The presentations will include topics such as risk perception, how people of different ages react to nutritional supplement advertising, and numeracy (the ability to understand and use numbers) and decision-making. Speakers will include UI experts from the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, College of Pharmacy, College of Public Health, Carver College of Medicine and Tippie College of Business.

Natalie Denburg, Ph.D., one of the conference organizers and a UI assistant professor of neurology, said the conference will be of interest to health care professionals who treat cancer patients, members of hospice organizations, psychologists and other mental health professionals, as well as professionals interested in decision-making outside of the field of cancer research. In addition, people with cancer or at risk for cancer will find the conference highly relevant, Denburg said.

"Our local conference builds on a national effort in cancer control to understand the cognitive and other processes involved in decision-making that affect the choices people make related to their health," Denburg said. "With cancer, as with other serious illnesses, it is important for people to make informed choices that enhance the quality of life. This interdisciplinary conference will help us advance understanding of this issue."

The Cancer and Aging Program is a joint initiative of the Holden Comprehensive Cancer Center at the UI and the UI Center on Aging. The program is funded by the National Institutes of Health.

For registration and event information, visit the Cancer and Aging website at: or call 319-335-8599.

For additional information, contact Natalie Denburg at or Margaret Voelker, Ph.D., assistant research scientist in epidemiology, at

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa Health Science Relations, 5137 Westlawn, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-1178

MEDIA CONTACT: Becky Soglin, 319 335-6660

PROGRAM CONTACTS: Registration: Cancer and Aging website at: or call 319-335-8599. Program content: Natalie Denburg at or Margaret Voelker at