Every year, as Breast Cancer Awareness Month begins and the wave of pink floods my inbox, mailbox, TV screen, Facebook wall and store shelves, I cringe. This year, I have lost six friends to breast cancer. In the past three weeks, I have received more than a dozen resource requests from women newly diagnosed with breast cancer in the rural county I serve in northern Maine. What is going on? How can this be happening? Haven’t all of these pink ribbons fixed this problem yet? On the contrary, breast cancer incidence is increasing and, despite small adjustments to treatment regimens, years of campaigns to raise awareness, ever-expanding screening programs, increased fundraising efforts and research, incidence and mortality have not changed significantly ...
Put Advocates in Charge of the Breast Cancer Research Agenda: Across the country, people run, walk, dine out, buy "stuff" and write checks to support breast cancer research. All of this is... more
Time to Get to the Real Work of Ending Breast Cancer: This past October, the National Breast Cancer Coalition highlighted our longtime theme of "action, not awareness" during Breast... more
Happy New Year!
This year is already off to a great start and we have some big plans.
You may remember that last year we embarked on a strategic planning process. We conducted several interviews and surveys and then compiled all of the results to help us set priorities. Last November, the Board of Directors voted to approve the plan and now we are off and running.
Researcher Webinar Series—Current Studies: A Conversation with Dr. Juliet Spencer:
Researchers at the University of San Francisco have found that a protein produced by human cytomegalovirus (HCMV) called cmvIL-10 promotes the growth and spread of breast cancer cells, increasing the likelihood of metastasis. The cmvIL-10 protein is frequently found at higher than normal levels in the blood of cancer patients.
This study will allow researchers to evaluate cmIL-10 blood levels in breast cancer patients and compare cmIL-10 levels in healthy women and women diagnosed with breast cancer within the last 5 years. If the study finds that some breast cancer patients have higher levels of cmIL-10, it's possible that the test might be useful for determining whether some patients might benefit from anti-viral drug treatments. If levels are higher in patients with more advanced breast cancer, then it's possible that screening for cmIL-10 could help doctors monitor whether metastases are more likely to develop or whether a woman's cancer is responding to treatment. This study was launched to the Army of Women on September 15th, 2015 and the research team is still looking for people to participate.