Women who've had a sister with breast cancer can make a difference in the fight against the disease by joining The Sister Study (http://www.thesisterstudy.org/), an important new nationwide effort to find the causes of breast cancer. Study directors are looking for 50,000 women, ages 35-74, who have not had breast cancer themselves, and who come from all walks of life.
Upon being accepted in the trial, the women will complete a questionnaire and then submit a health update each year over 10 years.
Researchers will compare study members who go on to develop breast cancer with those who do not develop the disease to learn about possible environmental and genetic causes for the disease, as well as ways to prevent breast cancer.
A major challenge in studying breast cancer and the environment has been the lack of useful data gathered before diagnosis about exposures and lifestyle factors. The National Institute for Environmental Health Sciences will provide the funding needed to collect this important information. Two NIEHS scientists, Dale Sander, PhD, and Clarice Weinberg, PhD, are the principal investigators for the Sister Study.
Breast cancer is the most common cancer among women except for non-melanoma skin cancer, and while there's been great improvement in breast cancer treatments and survival rates, about 40,000 US women are still expected to die from the disease this year.
What causes one woman to develop the disease instead of someone else?
Researchers know that alcohol use, early onset of menstruation, and a few other factors may slightly increase the risk of breast cancer, but for more than half of the 215,000 new cases each year occur in women with no known risk factors.
Women who want to support The Sister Study of possible causes of breast cancer have three choices:
Enroll. Learn whether you are eligible at www.sisterstudy.org or call 1-877-4SISTER (877-474-7837).
Spread the word to encourage others to enroll.
Become a Sister Study volunteer in your community.
It's especially important that women from all races and ethnic groups, and those over age 60 participate, so the results of the study will help all women in the battle against breast cancer.
October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Bay State Parent magazine produced Think Pink: A Guide Devoted to Breast Cancer Awareness in the October issue. To read the article in the guide visit:http://baystateparent.com/
Bay State Parent magazine is also a sponsor of the American Cancer Society's 15th Annual Making Strides Against Breast Cancer Walk on Sunday, Oct 14. For more information, visit http://main.acsevents.org/site/TR?JServSessionIdr005=wunev07mg2.app26b&pg=entry&fr_id=3496&JServSessionIdr005=wunev07mg2.app26b