Sunday, April 1, 2012

Black moms needed to sign up for the Army of Women

If you follow me on Facebook or Twitter you may have heard that I am working with Dr. Kathleen Arcaro of the University of Massachusetts, Amherst on her groundbreaking breastmilk and breast cancer study. Along with Tanya Lierberman, IBCLC of the Motherwear Breastfeeding Blog and Kathi Barber, CLC and author of The Black Woman's Guide to Breastfeeding. We are specifically recruiting black moms to give a breastmilk sample to be analyzed in Dr. Arcaro's lab. The response from you all has been amazing and the milk samples are um, pouring in. Because of you, we are on our way to ensuring that this important breast cancer research represents ALL women. We will eventually need more of you to send in milk samples, but today I am asking you for a different, but just as important, favor.

I want all of my African American women readers, whether you're breastfeeding or not, to sign up for the Love/Avon Army of Women.
What's the Army of Women? It's an effort backed by Dr. Suan Love and the Avon Foundation to focus on breast cancer prevention. Great strides have been made in the treatment of breast cancer, but little progress has been made in preventing women from developing breast cancer in the first place. The Army of Women connects women with researchers so that they can participate in research (if they choose) to help us understand how to prevent breast cancer.

How does it work? You register and provide very basic information such as your name, email, age, city, and state of residence. You will then receive email updates from us announcing new research studies looking for volunteers with or without breast cancer, just like you. If you fit the criteria and you’d like to participate, all you need to do is “RSVP.” You will be asked to go through an online screening process to confirm you fit the criteria for the study. Throughout the process, you remain in complete control and you self select what you want to do! You will never be pressured to take part in any study. The decision to take part is yours—and yours alone.
The most important part is that when you fill out the registration form you check "breast milk study" when asked how you learned about the Army of Women.

Why are we looking for African American women? Researchers want to ensure that their findings apply to all women, and to do that they need a diverse pool of particpants for their studies. A good example is the current call for African American moms to participate in the Jewels in our Genes study, which is recruiting African American breast cancer survivors now.

What can you do? Please go to the Army of Women registration page and please select "breast milk study" when asked how you learned about the Army of Women. We thank you!

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