Researchers Seek More Women for 'Sister Study' of Breast Cancer

They're recruiting healthy sisters of breast cancer patients to better understand the disease

SATURDAY, March 17, 2007 (HealthDay News) -- So far, more than 33,000 American women have joined the Sister Study, a research effort to uncover the causes of breast cancer.

But the study is still looking for another 17,000 more women to reach its enrollment target of 50,000 women by the end of 2007, according the U.S. National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS).

The study is enrolling women, aged 35 to 74, whose sisters were diagnosed with breast cancer. The women who join the study must never have been diagnosed with breast cancer. The 10-year observational Sister Study was launched in October 2004.

"Many women have heard about the Sister Study, but they haven't signed up yet, and we really need them now," principal investigator Dale Sandler, chief of the epidemiology branch at the NIEHS, said in a prepared statement.

"Doctors know very little about how the environment may affect breast cancer, that is why the Sister Study is so important. We hope women will make that call today," Sandler said.

The Sister Study, which is available in English and Spanish, doesn't require a major time commitment from participants. When they enroll, they answer questions about diet, job, hobbies, and things they've been exposed to throughout their lives. Later, they'll be asked to give small samples of blood. urine, toenail clippings and house dust.

More information

You can learn more by going to the Sister Study Web site, which is also available in Spanish.

SOURCE: U.S. National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, news release, Feb. 28, 2007
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