We are thrilled to announce that within 26 hours of its online debut, we satisfied recruitment for the Environmental Exposures and Breast Density study. Thanks to our dedicated members, the study’s RSVP list quickly grew to 2,580 participants strong!
Researchers from the University of Wisconsin Carbone Cancer Center and Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center are investigating whether cadmium, a heavy metal found in the environment, is related to breast density. Studies have shown that postmenopausal women who have dense breast tissue, which appears white on a mammogram, are three to six times more likely to be diagnosed with breast cancer than those with less dense breast tissue. A woman’s breast density is influenced by her genetics, but is also affected by her reproductive and lifestyle choices. Environmental factors may play a role as well.
Researchers believe that cadmium, a heavy metal that occurs naturally in the earth’s crust, could have an impact on breast density. Cigarette smoke contains cadmium; so can food and water. For most people, food and cigarette smoke are the largest potential sources of cadmium exposure. The researchers for this study want to see if there is a relationship between a woman’s cadmium levels (which can be measured in urine) and her breast density. The researchers will analyze urine samples from participants and measure the amount of cadmium, as well as other heavy metals. The researchers will also review recent mammography reports from participants to collect data on breast density. The team was successful in recruiting participants on a national scope and at a fast rate due to their ability to collect samples via mailed kits. This method has proven beneficial for both researchers and participants. Since participants are able to engage in the study with ease and from the comfort of their own home, the researchers are able to tap into a larger pool of potential study participants without worry of geographic and temporal constraints.
The study’s Principal Investigator, Polly Newcomb, PhD, is already brainstorming on future studies and ways she can work with the Army of Women. “Our research team is very excited about the outstanding success of the recruitment for our environmental studies of exposures in women. Having more than 2,500 women sign up for the study in a mere 26 hours was beyond our expectations. We could not be more pleased with the opportunities the Dr. Susan Love Research Foundation’s Love/Avon Army of Women Program offers to researchers in breast health,” said Newcomb.
The quick fulfillment of this study’s recruitment goal is a testament to the power and enthusiasm of our members to further breast cancer research. Every new participant is a step closer to better understanding of this disease and how it can be prevented. The Army of Women has again proven that we have the capability and commitment to fast-track research, leaving a lasting impact upon the progress of research and the ultimate eradication of breast cancer.
To learn more about our current open studies, visit: http://www.armyofwomen.com/current