What You Can Do to Find the Cause of Breast Cancer

News — By on December 3, 2009 at 6:11 am

Certainly a lot of progress has been made in the fight against breast cancer: more effective treatments, less disfiguring surgery, and genetic testing and high-tech imaging to catch it earlier. Yet, little is known about what actually triggers the disease. In fact, 70 percent of breast cancers have no explainable cause. Now women can join the effort to help researchers identify what leads to breast cancer—with the ultimate goal of preventing it. All you need to do is fill out a free online form to join the “Army of Women.” (It took me five minutes.) You’ll then receive twice-monthly E-mails telling you about research studies looking for participants.
“We have 312,000 people enrolled, but we’re hoping to get to a million,” breast surgeon Susan Love tells me. She’s heading the initiative, launched a year ago with a grant from the Avon Foundation. Researchers are looking for healthy women of various ages as well as breast cancer survivors (women and men). One study at Stanford School of Medicine is looking for volunteers to study the impact that too much stress and too little sleep has on a woman’s risk of developing cancer.

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