Eighty percent of women who get breast cancer have none of the known risk factors!

This means we don’t have a clue as to what causes this disease. Could it be a virus? Is it due to certain environmental factors? Is it because of something that no one has even thought about and that we will never discover unless someone is daring enough to stand up to the status quo and start looking?

The mission of the Dr. Susan Love Research Foundation is to find the cause of breast cancer so we can prevent it once and for all. We are willing to buck the tide and focus our attention on the innovative research that no one else is willing to do. We are willing to go where no one else will go.

  • I was out on a limb in 1990 when I wrote the first book on breast cancer for women that explained the science!
  • I was out on a limb when I stood up against high dose chemotherapy and stem cell rescue as a treatment for breast cancer!
  • I was out on a limb when I first sounded the alarm about postmenopausal hormones as a potential danger!
  • And I’m out on a limb again as I take on the big job of finding the cause of breast cancer! That’s why I need your help!

This has been a tough year and I know that, like many others, you are probably re-evaluating where to put your charitable dollars. I can assure you that the Dr. Susan Love Research Foundation works hard to invest every dollar into research that is looking into the cause of breast cancer and how to prevent it. We are not afraid to try new ways of getting to the answers!

It was support from women like you, along with a grant from the Avon Foundation for Women, which allowed us to launch the Love/Avon Army of Women initiative in October 2008. To date, we have recruited more than 320,000 women who want to take part in breast cancer research—leaving many investigators who have said it’s too hard to recruit women for studies speechless!

The Foundation is also continuing to advance the intraductal approach to breast cancer. As part of this effort, we are conducting studies that could result in an at-home breast cancer risk detection device, determine the role low grade chronic inflammation plays in breast cancer development, or lead to a new method of breast cancer prevention that entails administering chemotherapy down the breast ducts to treat precancerous changes.

With cause and prevention as our mission, we have become a pioneer of a new frontier. Our pioneering spirit will become even more evident in 2010, when we launch the biggest research project we have ever taken on: The Health of Women Study, which will be the first ever online “cohort” study of one million women!

As you can see, we have no lack of ideas. But to make these ideas come to fruition, we need your support! That’s why I’m asking you to make a year-end donation to the Dr. Susan Love Research Foundation.

I know that we will find the cause of breast cancer. I also know that we cannot do it without you!

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9 Responses to Finding the Cause of Breast Cancer

  1. Anne V. says:

    80% of women may have none of the known risk factors, especially known genetic risks. But the human genome project has finally revealed to us that simple DNA genetics represents only a fragment of the complex picture of phenotypic variation that humans display. Nobody is looking at the epigenetic factors that may have influenced why our current breast cancer epidemic may be present. (The environmental factors present when our grandmothers’ ova were being influenced to turn on specific genes, or to turn off specific genes, epigenetically, so that our mothers’ gametes were specifically effected,and thereby effecting us.)It may be these subtle factors that have augmented the genome, beyond the simple DNA code, that may be predisposing us to breast cancer. These may be immune factors totally out of our hands, at this time, that determine which genes are turned on. So maybe we need to focus on better diagnosis and treatment for the specific types of breast cancer. This may be more pragmatic, with what we already know. Perhaps when the epigenetics are better understood, than we will be better at really identifying heritable vulnerabilities, and finding treatments on that basis. In the meantime, causation will probably remain too obscure.I do not believe that breast cancer is a simple virally-mediated cancer, like cervical cancer. We will not be able to cure it by detecting viral changes in cells that precede actual cancer development. I doubt that intra-ductal cytology will yield the results that paps do. Just my thoughts.

  2. Melissa says:

    I think the right questions are not being asked to women with breast cancer. This forum is an ideal opportunity to ask these questions. I was diagnosed with breast cancer last year at the age of 38. My mother was diagnosed at 45 and died at 48 (in 1996). My cancer was/is estrogen -progesterone positive. Before her diagnosis, I knew something was very wrong with my mother, because after not seeing her for a couple of months, the first thing I noticed when I saw her was that her hair looked different. Yes, her hair. The texture was different. Before I even said hello I touched her hair and asked if she was okay. At that time, she felt there was something going on but had not yet found the lump.
    About 9 months preceding my diagnosis, I noticed changes in my body that were weird, but chalked them up to getting older.
    The texture in my hair changed, it was coarser (I have fine, thin hair) and it seemed to be growing more. Also, my fingernails were growing like crazy. My fingernails have never grown and have always been very weak. They were growing long and strong and fast.
    I had also been feeling a “general malaise” for awhile that I couldn’t shake. I remember telling my husband on several occasions that I just felt crappy and didn’t know why.
    I was healthy, fit, rarely ate meat and was never sick. However, between the ages of 30 and 33 my cholesterol level tripled although my diet did not change.
    My OBGYN and GP, who knew my family history (and knew about the “cyst” that had been growing in shrinking in my breast for years) looked at me like I was crazy when I asked if they knew why my hair and nails would start growing so fast for no reason.
    The part that really scared me and made me realize that something was wrong was when I walked into my bedroom and it smelled like my mother’s bedroom.
    The lump didn’t show on the mammogram, however some new calcifications did. My pointing out the lump wasn’t enough to receive a referral for a biopsy but the calcifications were (after they made me wait another 6 months to see if they changed, which they did.) Both areas were cancerous. Thank goodness I had started having mammograms when I was 35.

    The point of this is that I’m a year into this, have met with several different doctors, oncologists, specialists, even a researcher or two, and nobody has ever asked me how I felt leading up to the diagnosis. No one has ever asked if I noticed changes in my body, if I felt differently, or if I noticed that I smelled differently. Nobody asked if I had weird health issues or any instances that I thought would have an adverse effect on my health – like spending 9 days inhaling bug killer during my honeymoon on a tropical but bug infested island. Nothing. When I was 35-37 I went on a fitness kick where I ate soy protein powder up to several times a week. I was on Clomid for 3 months when I was 37 because I could not get pregnant. Sex had not been good because I felt my brain and body were disconnected. And don’t even get me started on my brain degeneration. I could actually feel the blank in my brain that had not been there four years earlier. Between the forgetfulness and the words that came out of mouth that didn’t make any sense, I thought I was losing my mind. That has gotten a little better, in some ways, but also a little worse.
    These are the kinds of questions I expected to be asked. These are the questions someone needs to be asking all women diagnosed with breast cancer. Are these common symptoms? Are these symptoms related to the cancer or not? I’m sure many women would not think of these things unless they are asked. If changes to hair and fingernails and cholesterol levels have nothing to do with hormone positive breast cancer, then maybe we can at least find common warning signs.
    I think a lot of good information is being missed because the right questions are not being asked

  3. Judy Veron says:

    I too have no common predisposition to breast cancer but was diagnosed at 49 with e+ p+ h- stage 3A. I too had some changes that my doctors never asked about. At every chance I would make it known that I was experiencing anxiety attacks, heart palpitations, my fingernails, in hind sight, got more ridges in them, and I did have a different body odor that only I seem to notice. My hair was different but wasn’t growing and I lacked my usual drive.
    I too think that we need to be more AWARE of our body and it’s changes. As women we have a natural intuition but when it comes to OURSELVES we tend to not listen to it.
    I did not have the usual lump that could be felt or mass that showed on a mammogram. I too think Drs. should be asking more questions after diagnosis to maybe find some subtle changes that are common amongst us since the science alone hasn’t been able to accomplish this. The fact that 80% of breast cancer victims have to date no known risk factors this may be the common thread that leads to a new avenue of research. It’s true that hind sight is 20-20 so maybe if asked we can find a link.

  4. Carol Conti says:

    And then there is stress which breaks down our immune system. This has been a really tough year for just about everybody – will we see a rise in breast cancer?

  5. BINGO!! If no one in the medical community is asking the right questions—we won’t get the right answers. Most doctors have been trained to think that diet has nothing to do with disease. That to me is astonishing and just part of the problem. There is a reason that cancer is more prevalant in westernized countries like the US. It’s not genetics, it’s our environment and that mostly involves our poisoned food supply along with our toxic air and water. This is hard to believe, but there is simply too much money to be made in “treating” cancer for there to be any real effort towards prevention. We know pretty much how to prevent cancer, powerful forces are just making sure the word doesn’t get out!

  6. Rebecca Daum says:

    Now I realize that many background questions were not asked when I was diagnosed. When my husband was in the process of being investigated for eligibility for medical disability for COPD, many questions were asked about exposure to many chemicals and environmental concerns. I did not experience any such questions.

  7. Gerald Kumin,M.D. says:

    in the year 2000 there were 266 new breast CA/million population in USA but only 72/million in India. Is intake of turmeric spice part of the reason?I teach prevention of diseases and currently we can prevent 40-50% of cancers.

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