Thursday, May 5, 2011

I've Joined The Army

If you followed my old Knittin' Diva blog, you know that I have long been an advocate for raising breast cancer awareness. My mother is a 15+ year survivor, and I have calcifications that have been "on watch" for more than 10 years. As a 40 something women, I am in awe at how many women still do not get mammograms or do self exams. So many women survive breast cancer now, because they are getting early screenings, but there are still hundreds of thousands that do not.

While a lot of attention over the last 3 decades has been given to the "cure", there is still still not a lot known about how breast cancer is caused in the first place. Scientists have been able to identify the BRCA1 & BRCA2 genes that may increase the likelihood of getting breast cancer by 80%, but that only pertains to about 5-10% of those who develop breast cancer. So what about the other 95%?

Dr. Susan Love, a long time breast cancer educator and advocate, launched a groundbreaking initiative, called the Army Of Women, that connects breast cancer researchers with real women who are willing to participate in wide variety of research studies. All women are encouraged to join the Army of Women, including breast cancer survivors and those who have never had breast cancer. The goal is recruit 1 million women, and thus far, we are 350,000 strong!

Since declaring “war on cancer” more than 40 years ago, the scientific community has made great strides in some areas. However, the number of women diagnosed with and dying from breast cancer is virtually the same as it was in 1969. Currently, the vast majority of resources for research are focused on early detection and treatment of breast cancer. More resources need to be spent on determining the cause of breast cancer, which isn’t just going to take more research – it’s going to take a different type of research. Studying mice and rats isn’t enough. Mice and rates do not get breast cancer. More studies must be done with actual women. The Army of Women is jumpstarting this type of research providing quick access to a diverse group of women for various studies.

For the sake of my children, my grandchildren, and my great grandchildren to come, I'M IN! How about you? Learn more by going to

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