Eleanor O'Donoghue Nealon, 59, the director of the National Cancer Institute's Office of Liaison Activities, died of breast cancer Oct. 22 at her home in Bethesda.

Ms. Nealon, who joined the institute in 1981 as a speech writer, formed the liaison office in 1994. She oversaw public relations, publications and the Director's Consumer Liaison Group, which works with the public and the institute's director.

The institute established a lecture series in her name Oct. 18.

Ms. Nealon, who was diagnosed with cancer in 1983, received last year the National Coalition for Cancer Survivorship's Everyday Heroes Award and the Cancer Research Foundation of America's Frontline Award for fostering cancer awareness.

She also co-wrote a 1981 book with Dr. Paul J. Melluzzo, "Living With Surgery: Before and After."

Ms. Nealon was born in Washington and worked for area publications in the 1960s. From 1971 to 1977, she worked at Georgetown University Medical Center and left as director of public relations.

In 1997, she received an honorary doctorate degree in literature from Rosemont College, which she attended in the early 1960s.

She was a member of St. Elizabeth Catholic Church in Rockville and the National Association of Science Writers. She also was on the advisory board of the Women's Health Initiative at the National Institutes of Health, the American Society of Hospital Public Relations and the American Society of Clinical Oncology.

Survivors include her husband of 15 years, Dr. Anthony B. Wolbarst of Bethesda; her mother, Eleanor O'Donoghue Nealon of Washington; two brothers, Stephen W. Nealon and Dr. Kevin G. Nealon, both of Chevy Chase; and a sister, Kathleen Nealon Detgen of Toledo.