This week, the Dr. Susan Love Research Foundation and the Avon Foundation launched the Love/Avon Army of Women, a groundbreaking initiative that will partner women with breast cancer researchers to find the key to what causes breast cancer and take science beyond a cure to prevention. The Love/Avon Army of Women is an opportunity for one million healthy women of all ages and ethnicities to join the “Army” and be available to take part in the research that will help scientists understand the causes of breast cancer.
Current breast cancer research is concentrated primarily on improving imaging devices that can detect tumors early, developing drugs to kill cancer cells, and understanding why cancer cells become resistant to existing drugs. Dr. Love would like to change that paradigm. This new program will:
• Encourage researchers to expand their focus from treating cancer to understanding what causes normal breast cells to become cancer cells.
• Shift the focus from finding breast cancer early and treating it once it occurs to preventing it in the first place.
• Provide researchers with timely and easy access to women volunteers. That process may involve completing a questionnaire, providing blood or saliva samples, or other relatively simple levels of participation.
Virtually all women not currently undergoing breast cancer treatment, including healthy women, breast cancer survivors, and women who are high risk for developing breast cancer, can enroll in the Love/Avon Army of Women online at www.armyofwomen.org.