One in a Million

20 Jan

It has been said that cancer therapy is “like beating the dog with a stick to get rid of its fleas.” Which just goes to say that when it comes to cancer, we don’t have it all figured out yet. Not even close. There’s an organization that is determined to change this.  It’s called the Army of Women. And they don’t do pink.

The Dr. Susan Love Research Foundation and the Avon Foundation joined forces a few years ago to launch this Army of Women. The focus is on research — a new and different approach.

Instead of conducting laboratory research on rats or mice for whom breast cancer is really not a big concern anyway, scientists believe that the research needs to actually involve women. But it is difficult for scientists to find women volunteers to participate in research studies. That’s where the Army of Women comes in. They have created a partnership between women and scientists. Their goal is to recruit one million women.

All women are invited to participate, whether or not they have a history of breast cancer. (Men are invited to participate as well but only if they have had breast cancer or have an immediate relative with the disease). It’s pretty simple. You can sign up at www.armyofwomen.com and they will send you an email when there is a new research project in need of volunteers. If you are interested in the project, and if you fit the study criteria, you will be instructed on how to proceed. If not, simply delete the email.

There are many different types of research projects. Some just involve filling out a questionnaire. But others (and here’s where it gets a little tricky) might need a sample of saliva, urine, blood, or… breast tissue. (Okay, for those of you who are feeling dizzy at the idea of donating breast tissue all for the good of science, I’m pretty sure these samples just involve authorizing the donation of tissue that has already been removed, such as from a biopsy). As for me, being the big chicken that I am, I have only participated in the questionnaire studies so far. And, like I mentioned earlier, participants always have the option of saying no.

Breast cancer has been around for a long time. That doesn’t mean it has to be a part of our future — or the future of our daughters and granddaughters. In order to find a cure, perhaps it will take an army. An army of women.

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One Response to “One in a Million”

  1. Wagonwife/Debra January 25, 2012 at 10:39 am #

    Signed up! Thanks for letting us all know about this Jill.

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