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Looking for a cause to get behind this October? Naz Sykes, the executive director of the Dr. Susan Love Research Foundation, shares information about her organization's important new initiative and how you can get involved:
We are in the midst of Breast Cancer Awareness Month and flooded by a sea of pink products asking for our financial support. It's overwhelming and sometimes hard to navigate, and it can be hard to measure the impact our dollars will have on moving the needle closer to finding the right answers about a disease that continues to kill 108 women every day.
So, you might be wondering what the Dr. Susan Love Research Foundation is doing that is different, and why you should consider supporting us. Our mission is simple. We are working to understand what causes breast cancer and figure out ways to prevent it. We don't want the next generation of young women to ever hear the words, "You have breast cancer." We want to eliminate breast cancer from our vocabulary.
Yes, it's a lofty goal! Many might caution that our goal is too ambitious, but it's unacceptable to watch 280,000 women get diagnosed with breast cancer every year—a number that hasn't changed much since 2003. How are we going to accomplish our goal and the promise we have made to eradicate this disease once and for all?
Our approach is all about research and, specifically, research on women—all kinds of women: women with a history of breast cancer and women without breast cancer. It's hard to believe healthy women play a key role in research, but they do, and it's important for them to get involved. Many times when we hear about breast cancer research, we assume the research involves only women with breast cancer. What we need is both: women with and without breast cancer. We need all women over the age of 18 and of every ethnicity to commit themselves to our two signature call to action programs:
- The Health of Women Study, is an online study that will collect health information from you over time through specific, themed questionnaires that you will receive every couple of months. We will ask you questions about your diet and exercise, family history, occupation, reproductive health and much more. The more data we can collect from you over time, and the more people we have in our database, the more powerful our data will be to uncover possible trends and new risk factors for breast cancer. All your information is kept in a secure database, so your privacy is protected. And don't forget to get your friends and family members to sign up as well. We will share the findings, and you also have an opportunity to propose ideas for future questionnaires. So, if you have specific research ideas or concerns, we want to hear from you!
- The Army of Women, with 370,000 strong women (and a few good men), is a database of individuals with and without a history of breast cancer who have signed up because they are interested in learning more and participating in studies focused on the cause and prevention of breast cancer. Signing up is simple, and once you agree to be in our database, you will start getting e-mails about various studies looking for participants. You can decide which studies, if any, you want to participate in by donating your data, blood sample or time. This is a great way to educate yourself about what the research community is focusing on when it comes to solving the mysteries of breast cancer. And, of course, we are 370,000 strong because each member is dedicated to recruiting friends and family members to participate. The success of the Army of Women depends on you! To learn more and sign up, visit www.armyofwomen.org.
This October, join and commit yourself to the Dr. Susan Love Research Foundation and act with Love. By investing your dollars, yourself and your friends, you are making breast cancer history!
This guest blog post was written by Naz Sykes, executive director of the Dr. Susan Love Research Foundation.