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Vol. LXII, No. 25
December 10, 2010
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Author Susan Love Visits NCI
  Author Susan Love  
  Author Susan Love  

As part of its support for Breast Cancer Awareness Month, the NCI Health Communications Internship Program welcomed surgeon, author and advocate Dr. Susan M. Love to Bldg. 50 recently to discuss new approaches to breast cancer prevention and eradication. Love is the author of The Breast Book, which is widely regarded as the “bible of breast care books.” She is also president of the Dr. Susan Love Research Foundation, a nonprofit organization whose goals are to eradicate breast cancer and improve the quality of women’s health through education and research.

Love argued that because the public is already well aware of breast cancer, the primary focus must be prevention of the disease. She noted that 80 percent of women who have breast cancer have no overt risk factors and only 5-10 percent of them have a genetic history. These data, she said, highlight the importance of challenging the scientific community to widen its current focus to find the underlying cause of breast cancer.

Love is a strong advocate of scientific investigation. Her leadership in the Avon-sponsored Army of Women, an initiative designed to recruit women to cancer-related clinical trials, illustrates her commitment to encourage women to “take the next step in breast cancer advocacy” by participating in research. A culture of research participation will attract a more diverse sample of women that better reflects the general population. This will allow scientists to more easily examine specific cohorts and demographic groups to enhance the quality, validity and applicability of their research.

To date, over 341,000 individuals have joined the Army of Women. Love’s goal is to recruit one million women of all ages and ethnicities to participate in research that will play a direct role in the eradication of breast cancer. Women can join the Army of Women at www.armyofwomen.org.

Love is also collaborating with NCI’s Cancer Biomedical Informatics Grid (CaBIG) and City of Hope’s Beckman Research Institute to realize the Health of Women study, which is the foundation’s first totally online cohort study. Staff at CaBIG are creating the software infrastructure for the project. This initiative was launched in early November and is yet another example of Love’s commitment to accessible research participation.—


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