With the holiday season upon us, I want to take this time to send my best wishes to all of the incredible women and men who have supported and been involved with the Dr. Susan Love Research Foundation this year.
Every time we receive a question about a new breast cancer treatment or a woman shares her story with us for our website we see the urgency of our work.
Every time a woman enrolls in the Army of Woman, says â€œyesâ€ to a study, or passes a Call to Action on to a friend or family member, we see how ready women are to take part in the research that will help us learn what causes breast cancer and how to prevent it.
Every time a woman tells us how important our website was to her as she navigated her breast care, we see how important it is for women to have access to a trusted source of unbiased information.
And, every time, we see even more clearly why â€œawarenessâ€ is NOT enough.
Women could not be more aware. But being aware is not bringing us any closer to preventing breast cancerâ€”which is why our Foundation is working to move breast cancer beyond a cure.
But we canâ€™t do it without your support.
Itâ€™s been a tough year for all non-profit organizations, and even harder for those of us who are involved in different and innovative research and who ask the hard, unpopular question: Why isnâ€™t more research focused on finding the cause of the disease so we can prevent it!
But that doesnâ€™t stop usâ€”and we know it doesnâ€™t stop you! We need YOUR help to push forward, because we canâ€™t make progress in ending breast cancer without your financial support.
We are in a hurry to end breast cancer. I believe the road that will get us there requires us to undertake the big risk projects that have the potential for big rewards. Not surprisingly, these arenâ€™t the types of projects that traditional funders are eager to support. We donâ€™t want to do studies that focus on finding one more molecule involved in the cancer process, or developing a slightly better drug to treat the disease. Many, many other scientists are working on that. We want to figure out what causes breast cancerâ€”and how to end it. And thatâ€™s what sets us apart. We have been pushing at the forefront of shifting the research paradigm by:
- Launching the Love/Avon Army of Women, an initiative to recruit one million women interested in taking part in the research studies that will help us understand what causes breast cancerâ€”and how to prevent it. More than 347,000 women have signed up, and we already have helped 42 researchers recruit for and accelerate their research.
- Creating the Health of Women (HOW) Study, the first ever online study of an anticipated one million women that we will follow overtime to look at potentially new risk factors for breast cancer in order to understand the cause of the disease and ways to prevent it.
- Pioneering research into understanding the anatomy of the breast so that we can understand how and where breast cancer begins. Can you believe that we understand the molecular biology of breast cancer better than we do the anatomy of the breast?!?!
- Bucking trends and regularly questioning the status quo such as the use of hormone replacement therapy and its link to breast cancer in the 1990s and the use of bio-identical hormones today.
We think this work matters! If you agree, then we ask you to support us. My personal rule about charitable giving is that you should put your money where it is most needed and will do the most good. Thatâ€™s why Iâ€™m asking you to think about what sets the Foundation apartâ€”and the difference your support can make.
Many people say: It is too hard to find the cause. Itâ€™s too complicated. Cancer will always be with us. The best we can do is to make it a chronic disease. Baloney! As many of you have heard me say: â€œWe figured out that cervical cancer was caused by a virus, and now we have a vaccine!â€ There is no reason we canâ€™t do something similar with breast cancer!
Every dollar counts and we need your support more than ever.
Your support fuels the work we are doing to bring us to the end of this disease. We couldnâ€™t have accomplished all that we have without you! Please help us keep moving down the risky path that will bring the big rewardâ€”ending breast cancer.
With appreciation and gratitude,
Susan Love, MD