Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Milk Samples Needed for Breast Cancer Research Study

African American moms are needed for a breastmilk study. Can you help?

As I've written before, I have the privelege of working with Professor Kathleen Arcaro at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, on her groundbreaking breast cancer/breastmilk research.

Kathleen analyses breastmilk to study DNA changes in breast cells, which are naturally present in breastmilk, and their relationship to breast cancer. It's very gratifying work because a better understanding of these patterns may one day lead to new early detection, prevention and treatment strategies for breast cancer. Here's a sampling of some of the recent press coverage about this research.

Our current goal is to recruit African-American mothers to donate milk samples. Why African-American moms? Because Kathleen wants to ensure that her findings apply to all women, and to do that she needs a diverse sample of mothers participating. Having African-American moms well represented in this research is of particular interest because we have different patterns of breast cancer than women of other races. You may know that black women are more likely to get triple negative breast cancer, which is more aggressive and more likely to reocur, spread beyond the breast and result in death.
One of my main duties is helping Kathleen recruit moms to participate in her studies. The response to her work has been incredible, but we still need more black moms to donate breast milk! So, the UMass Breastmilk Lab is currently seeking:
•African American mothers who are nursing

•Living anywhere in the U.S.

•Willing to donate a *fresh* breastmilk sample (shipped via overnight mail at the lab's expense)

•Willing to fill out a consent form and questionnaire

Participants will receive $25 in thanks - and the knowledge that they are advancing our understanding of breast cancer! I hope that you can donate, or help us find moms willing to donate milk for this important research.

To participate, or for more information, you can email Beth, or call Beth or Eva at (413) 545-0813. More information is also available at the UMass Breastmilk Lab website. You can also like us on Facebook where we're keeping you updated on the latest in breastmilk research and Kathleen's work!
We need help spreading the word about this study. Contact me if you'd like me to write a guest post, and link, share on Facebook, Pin, and Tweet to your heart's content!

And if you're African-American (nursing or not), PLEASE consider signing up for the Love/Avon Army of Women, who are funding this important research. Please select "Breast milk study" when asked how you heard about the Army of Women.

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