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Inclusivity Guidelines

2022 Inclusivity Guidelines

adapted from YSC publicly posted guidelines


SIO constituents come from a wide range of backgrounds and experiences. We ask that speakers/facilitators use language and visuals that make everyone attending the conference feel welcome and included. We strive to create an environment where all attendees feel safe, supported, and empowered.


Please keep in mind the following:

  • These individuals come from diverse backgrounds. This includes geographic location, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender identity, economic background, language, politics and religion. During your presentation(s) and interactions with attendees, avoid stereotypes and making assumptions, and use language that is inclusive of those whose background may be different than your own.
  • This is an inclusive and welcoming environment. Please refrain from making comments about an attendee’s appearance, experience, language or anything else that could make them uncomfortable. Even if you think comments are harmless, let individuals tell their own story.
  • When speaking about romantic partnerships, acknowledge that some attendees are in same sex relationships. For example, consider using “partner” instead of “husband” or “boyfriend” during your presentation.
  • Not all participants have a romantic partner. When speaking about relationships or support network, know that not all attendees are married or in a committed relationship. Sometimes their family and friends are their main source of support.
  • Individuals are at various phases of breast cancer diagnosis. They may be newly diagnosed, post-treatment, a long-term survivor or living with metastatic breast cancer. Please provide information and use language that is inclusive of those who are living with metastatic breast cancer (MBC), in-treatment for the rest of their lives or who don’t know their prognosis. For example, YSC uses “thriver” to describe those living with MBC, as opposed to survivor. For the same reason, YSC refrains from using the terms like “warrior,” “battlefield,” or “winning the fight.” When an individual dies of breast cancer, it is not because they didn’t fight hard enough.
  • Co-survivors also attend SIO events. Co-survivors may be the partner (male or female), parent, sibling or friend of a young breast cancer survivor/thriver. Co-survivors will also have loved ones who are at various phases of diagnosis.

For additional useful tips that promote mindfulness in choosing language carefully for optimal inclusivity, click on this useful article link here.


Eugene Ahn

Breast medical oncologist and integrative oncologist at City of Hope Chicago SIO VP Communications Associate Professor City of Hope Director of Clinical Research at COH Chicago/Atlanta/Phoenix