Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Black Breastfeeding Moms: How You Can Help Save Lives

I am pleased to present this guest post by Tanya Lieberman, IBCLC, of the Motherwear Breastfeeding Blog.

African American breastfeeding moms - we need you in the fight against breast cancer!

You probably know some facts about breast cancer: 1 in 8 women will develop it. Early detection saves lives. Breastfeeding reduces your risk.

But did you know that African American women tend to develop a more aggressive form of breast cancer? And that a higher percentage die from it?

These facts are daunting, but there is a special contribution African American nursing moms can make in the fight against breast cancer.

A study based at the University of Massachusetts is seeking African American nursing moms who have had, or are expecting to have, a breast biopsy for participation in a groundbreaking study. The lead researcher, Dr. Kathleen Arcaro, is examining the breastmilk of nursing mothers to identify molecular biomarkers for the development of breast cancer. Dr. Arcaro needs African American moms to participate so that she can determine if her findings are applicable to all women, and different types of cancer.

The identification of these biomarkers may lead to new breast cancer treatments, and perhaps a test which would use breastmilk to determine breast cancer risk.

If you participate, you would provide a breastmilk sample, which is overnight mailed from your home to the lab, and provide a copy of a biopsy report. You would receive $50 in thanks for your participation.

If you think you may qualify, please contact Dr. Sarah Lenington by email or by phone: (413) 577-1823. If you don't, please spread the word by forwarding this on. If you're a blogger and would like to spread the word, contact Tanya about a guest post. Flyers and brochures are available. For more information, see the study website. Thank you for your help!

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