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Call to Action: Why Do Young Women Get Breast Cancer?

Why do young women get breast cancer? And why are they more likely than older women to get an aggressive form of the disease? Might genetics play a role? That’s what a research team at the Washington University School of Medicine is trying to find out. If we can find out WHY some women might be more susceptible to getting breast cancer early, it could help women and doctors learn how to prevent it.

This study may sound familiar to you. That is because we first sent a Call to Action last year to recruit women who were diagnosed with invasive breast cancer when they were 40 years old or younger. Since then, the Army of Women has helped the research team enroll nearly 1,000 women in the study. The research team is thrilled with your support! But they still need more women to participate in this important study. If you were diagnosed with invasive breast cancer at age 40 or younger, please read on and sign up!

If this study isn’t a right fit for you, please pass this e-blast along to friends, family members, and any women you know who have been diagnosed with breast cancer. The research team needs to enroll thousands of women, and by passing this Call to Action along you will be spreading the word about a study that could help us learn why young women get breast cancer.

What’s the study about?

The purpose of the study is to learn what genetic factors may play a role in the development of breast cancer in young women.

The researchers need to recruit 5,000 women who were diagnosed with invasive breast cancer when they were 40 years old or younger for this study.

What’s involved?

If you choose to join the Breast Cancer Risk in Young Women Study, you will be asked to submit a blood sample, which can be drawn at your next doctor’s appointment. Your doctor will ship the sample directly to the researchers. You will be sent a kit that includes shipping materials, the materials needed to draw your blood, and all of the documentation your doctor needs to draw and ship your blood to the research staff. There will be no cost to you to participate in this study, and you will not have to handle or ship your own blood.

You will be asked to provide the researchers with information about your family history. You will also be asked to give them permission to obtain a copy of your cancer-related medical records.

Who is conducting the study?

Paul Goodfellow, PhD, at the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, Missouri


United States and Canada

Who can participate?

You can join the Breast Cancer Risk in Young Women Study if you match ALL of these MAIN categories:

- You were diagnosed with invasive breast cancer (stage I, II, III, or IV) when you were 40 years old or younger (You are eligible regardless of how old you are now.) There are no exclusions based on current stage of treatment, previous or current diagnosis or prior genetic testing. Please note, women with DCIS are unfortunately not eligible.

- You live in the United States or Canada

After you RSVP, the research team will ask you additional questions to be sure that this study is a right fit for you.


Yes, Sign Me Up


No Thanks


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Tamara said...

Yes i would like to be in the case studies if possible, I was 38 first time cancer then again @ 49. both in left breast, keep breast first time around came back 10 yrs later,the last oncologist the one i have now he wanted me to brca1 brca2 test the insurance co., denied because no history in first family of any breast, cervical, or ovarian ..and wasn’t of Jewish or African American Decent under the age of 35… my oncologist fought for testing an i was tested feb, of 2011 results June 23rd 2011 I WAS positive BRCA1 Brca2 GENE MUTATION.. my first cancer was an unknown primary 10 years ago..never found the tumor no source ever… MRI’s Pet scans bone scans nothing…but i was lymph node positive breast cancer just not in the breast NO TUMOR they removed 14 lymph’s 4 were full it did not spread.. my 1st family has no history of breast, ovarian, or cervical and another cancer they look for is pancreatic and colon in 1st family’s we do not have it .. We looked on my dad’s side and my 1st cousin my dads brothers child had breast cancer @ 30 she died from it @ 39 was 1992 ..brca testing started in 1994 her mother and grandma also had breast… so i’m still so unusual hope i can be involved WITH YOUR RESEARCH…. my left breast removed feb 2010 and now since testing right breast will be removed and hysterectomy.. i hope i can help…..i have a long road ahead and i need all the support i can find .. and i want to support the Army the Army will Win…..

Tamara said...


Diane said...

I’ll try to help spread the word. I am participating as is my twin sister and our parents. My twin and I were both diagnosed in our 30’s and we have tested positive for a mutation in our BRAC1 gene (my sister also has a mutation in her BRAC2 gene). More data is better and will hopefully lead to better information. Like Tamara, sometimes you are the first in your family to have a genetic mutation detected - but not the last. Be aware of your family history at a minimum and be self-aware!
Diane at

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