Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

50,000 Sisters Of Women With Breast Cancer Needed To Help Find Causes Of The Disease

Date:
October 19, 2004
Source:
NIH/National Institute Of Environmental Health Sciences
Summary:
A new study that will look at 50,000 sisters of women diagnosed with breast cancer opened today for enrollment across the United States. The Sister Study, conducted by the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS), part of the National Institutes of Health, will investigate environmental and genetic causes of breast cancer. The Sister Study is the largest study of its kind to look at breast cancer risk factors.

Washington, D.C. — A new study that will look at 50,000 sisters of women diagnosed with breast cancer opened today for enrollment across the United States. The Sister Study, conducted by the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS), part of the National Institutes of Health, will investigate environmental and genetic causes of breast cancer. The Sister Study is the largest study of its kind to look at breast cancer risk factors.

Women of all backgrounds and ethnic groups are eligible for the study if they are between the ages of 35 and 74; live in the United States; have never had breast cancer themselves; and have a sister — living or deceased — who has had breast cancer. To recruit a diverse group of volunteers and to ensure the results benefit all women, researchers are especially encouraging African-American, Latina, Native American, and Asian women, as well as women 60 and older, to join the Sister Study.

Sisters may be the key to unlocking breast cancer risk mysteries. Dale Sandler, Ph.D., Chief of the Epidemiology Branch at NIEHS and principal investigator of the Sister Study said, "By studying sisters, who share the same genes, often had similar experiences and environments, and are at twice the risk of developing breast cancer, we have a better chance of learning what causes this disease. That is why joining the Sister Study is so important."

At the beginning, volunteers will complete several questionnaires and provide a sample of their blood, urine, toenails, and household dust. "With that, we'll be able to look at how genes, activities of daily life, and exposure to different things in our environment are related to breast cancer risk," Dr. Sandler explained.

"We've made the process as easy and as convenient as possible, so we will come to you," she added.

The landmark study will stay in touch with the volunteers for 10 years and compare those who develop breast cancer with the majority who do not. While past studies have largely focused on hormones, reproductive health, and lifestyle, the Sister Study will take the most detailed look ever at how women's genes, and things women come in contact with at home, at work, and in the community may influence breast cancer risk. Researches will study a range of environmental exposures, from personal care and household products, to workplace and other common exposures.

"Genes are important, but they don't explain it all," said Dr. Sandler. "The truth is that only half of breast cancer cases can be attributed to known factors." And, two known genes linked to breast cancer — BRCA 1 and BRCA 2 — play a role in only five to 10 percent of cases.

Women who may have felt helpless as they watched their sisters battle breast cancer now have an opportunity to help researchers learn more about causes of the disease. Dottie Sterling and Fluffy Reed both joined the study at the request of their youngest sister, Wish Martin, a breast cancer survivor in Maryland. "Throughout my sister's fight with breast cancer, we all prayed and prayed for healing and a swift recovery," said Sterling, a Sister Study volunteer in Ohio. "Now my sister has been a breast cancer survivor for more than 13 years, and I could not be more proud. I see joining the Sister Study as my tribute to her strength and her faith."

Many women have lost their sisters to breast cancer. "We need to find a cure for breast cancer and improve detection, diagnosis and treatment," said Patricia Bango, a participant in Virginia. "I joined the Sister Study as an advocate for my sister, Sally, who did not survive this devastating disease. I know her hope would have been that these efforts will help researchers find out what causes breast cancer."

The Sister Study opened in pilot states, including Arizona, Florida, Illinois, Missouri, North Carolina, Ohio, Rhode Island, and Virginia, earlier in 2004 — but is now open for nationwide enrollment.

Organizations that are in partnership with the Sister Study include the American Cancer Society, Sisters Network, Inc., the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation, and the Y-ME National Breast Cancer Organization, as well as countless local community breast cancer support and advocacy groups.

To volunteer or learn more about the Sister Study, visit the web site http://www.sisterstudy.org or call toll free 1-877-4SISTER (877-474-7837). Deaf/Hard of Hearing call 1-866-TTY-4SIS (866-889-4747).


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by NIH/National Institute Of Environmental Health Sciences. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

NIH/National Institute Of Environmental Health Sciences. "50,000 Sisters Of Women With Breast Cancer Needed To Help Find Causes Of The Disease." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 19 October 2004. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2004/10/041019083433.htm>.
NIH/National Institute Of Environmental Health Sciences. (2004, October 19). 50,000 Sisters Of Women With Breast Cancer Needed To Help Find Causes Of The Disease. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 20, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2004/10/041019083433.htm
NIH/National Institute Of Environmental Health Sciences. "50,000 Sisters Of Women With Breast Cancer Needed To Help Find Causes Of The Disease." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2004/10/041019083433.htm (accessed September 20, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Could Grief Affect The Immune Systems Of Senior Citizens?

Could Grief Affect The Immune Systems Of Senior Citizens?

Newsy (Sep. 19, 2014) The study found elderly people are much more likely to become susceptible to infection than younger adults going though a similar situation. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Jury Delivers Verdict in Salmonella Trial

Jury Delivers Verdict in Salmonella Trial

AP (Sep. 19, 2014) A federal jury has convicted three people in connection with an outbreak of salmonella poisoning five years ago that sickened hundreds of people and was linked to a number of deaths. (Sept. 19) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
How The 'Angelina Jolie Effect' Increased Cancer Screenings

How The 'Angelina Jolie Effect' Increased Cancer Screenings

Newsy (Sep. 19, 2014) Angelina's Jolie's decision to undergo a preventative mastectomy in 2013 inspired many women to seek early screenings for the disease. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
The Cost of Ebola

The Cost of Ebola

Reuters - Business Video Online (Sep. 18, 2014) As Sierra Leone prepares for a three-day "lockdown" in its latest bid to stem the spread of Ebola, Ciara Lee looks at the financial implications of fighting the largest ever outbreak of the disease. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins