Creative arts therapy is based on the idea that the creative act can be healing. According to the American Cancer Society, arts therapy can help people express hidden emotions, and reduce stress, fear and anxiety.

Many cancer patients and survivors use creative arts therapies including music, art, dance, drama and writing to help manage the emotional and psychological side effects that often result from cancer diagnosis and treatment.

Art therapy offers an opportunity for self-expression. It also helps decrease anxiety and promotes relaxation, and for cancer patients and survivors, it can help decrease pain and help through the cancer journey.

FirstHealth Moore Regional Hospital’s 31st Annual National Cancer Survivors Day will highlight the benefits of art therapy, and will feature a presentation on the topic from guest speaker Christine Thompson, an artist from Goldsboro, NC.

Scheduled for Thursday, May 31, the free event will be held from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at the FirstHealth Conference Center on the corner of Yadkin Road (Hwy 211) and Page Road in Pinehurst.

Area cancer survivors are invited to attend and bring one guest each to a program that will include heavy hors d’oeuvres and a photo booth. Attendees will also have the opportunity to create their own piece of art.

According to Matt Sherer, MBA, MSHA, administrative director of FirstHealth Cancer Services, the FirstHealth cancer team focuses on all aspects of cancer care, including self-care, which ties into the art therapy theme for this year.

“Our goal is to focus on our patients as a whole,” he says. “While we provide exceptional oncology treatment, we also focus on support services for our patients. This may be a support group, massage therapy, spiritual care or even just connecting a patient with our financial or patient navigators.  Highlighting art therapy for our survivors is just another way we can assist our patients.”

FirstHealth’s Sherer says that the FirstHealth cancer care team is honored to celebrate Cancer Survivors Day with their patients and their families.

“Year after year, it is a joy to see our survivors and celebrate them and their journey with cancer,” he says.

The National Cancer Survivors Day program hosted by FirstHealth of the Carolinas is free to cancer survivors and guests (one to each survivor), but space is limited and registration is required. To register, visit or call (800) 213-3284.

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