Tuesday, June 8, 2010

WA Women needed for breast cancer prevention

Last year I was devastated to find out a close friend had been diagnosed with breast cancer. It truly is one of those things you just never think will happen to you or the ones you love – but unfortunately they do. Even young healthy women can be affected by breast cancer.

In Australian women, breast cancer is the most common invasive cancer diagnosed and the leading cause of death from cancer. Approximately 240 Australian women are diagnosed with breast cancer every week and every week 50 die from this disease.

That’s why I’d like to ask all WA Style readers, heck all WA women, to support breast cancer research in any way they can. At the moment The International Breast Cancer Intervention Study (IBIS-II) is seeking postmenopausal women aged 40 -70 with a family history of breast cancer to take part in this study to find out if breast cancer can be prevented.

To be eligible for the study women need to be at increased risk because of a family history of breast cancer, or other risk factors such as certain non cancerous breast conditions. Women must not have already had invasive breast cancer.

IBIS-II is the first trial to investigate whether the breast cancer treatment drug anastrozole can prevent breast cancer in postmenopausal women at higher risk of developing the disease. Women joining the study take a tablet a day for five years. They have a bone mineral density scan and regular mammograms, as well as clinical check-ups twice a year in the first year of the study and once a year in the following four years.

Worldwide the study is seeking 10,000 women. Over 5,400 women have already joined, including over 660 Australian and New Zealand women, but more volunteers are needed.

For more information phone 1800 640 709 or register at www.anzbctg.org

PHOTO CAPTION: Director of Research at the ANZ BCTG and IBIS-II Study Chairman, Professor John F. Forbes, and his fellow researchers are working towards a world without breast cancer.

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