With the season of giving upon us, I want to begin by thanking you for how much you have given to me this year by supporting the Dr. Susan Love Foundation and our primary goal: finding the cause and prevention of breast cancer.

I also want to thank you for your commitment to helping me get the message out that awareness is NOT enough. We’ve now had 25 years of breast cancer awareness and we still don’t understand the cause or ways to prevent this disease. And the cure is NOT enough either. Not if it means surgery, chemotherapy, radiation, hormone therapy, and targeted therapy all of which have side effects and cause long-term collateral damage to our bodies!

I am well aware that our goal finding the cause and prevention of breast cancer is a daunting task. But with your help we can do it; we have to do it. We don’ t have to pass breast cancer on to another generation. We can end it!

I am often told: It is too hard to find the cause, it’s too complicated, cancer will always be with us, the best we can do is to make it a chronic disease. To those who think that’s the best we can do, all I can say is, your best is not good enough. This year, more than 280,000 women were diagnosed with breast cancer. And with all of the early detection and varied treatments we have available today, this year we still lost about 40,000 women to this disease the same number of women we lost to breast cancer in 2005.

We can find the cause. We need to find the cause. I am more convinced than ever that the road that will get us there will require us to look at the areas of research that have been neglected by the grant givers, scientists, and universities because they seem too out there or too risky. But as we’ve seen time and time again, it’s big risk projects that have the potential for big rewards.

That’s why we at the Foundation are not afraid to take these risks. It’s why we proudly:

  • Are planning a study looking into bacteria and viruses in the breast fluid. This important study has the potential to revolutionize our understanding and perspectives on whether there could be an infectious cause for breast cancer.
  • Completed the first phase of a study in China on 1,000 women testing a possible home test for breast cancer risk.
  • Completed and published a study looking at the difference between the lactating breast which makes milk and the resting breast which doesn’t.
  • Are planning to make a model that will help us predict which environmental factors that appear carcinogenic in rats and mice actually get into the human breast.
  • Completed a study testing whether low dose chemotherapy can be put into the breast duct through the nipple to treat DCIS. As we prepare the data for publication, we are planning to improve on this novel way of delivering drugs to where breast cancer starts.
  • Launched the 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 cancer and how to prevent it.  To date, more than 370,000 women have joined our Army of Women, and have helped 52 researchers recruit for and accelerate their research. If you haven’t yet, join us today.
  • Are preparing to re-launch the Health of Women (HOW) Study, the first-ever online study of an anticipated one million women. We will follow these women overtime to look at new risk factors for breast cancer. We will compare those without breast cancer to those who have it. And we will use new technology to explore the data for novel connections and hints.

This is the kind of innovative work that no other organization is doing. And it is an example of the disruptive thinking that is critical if we are going to break through the status quo and stop this disease.

If you agree, then we hope that you will show your support for us this holiday season by making a gift to the Foundation.

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7 Responses to A Gift That Matters

  1. Kim Saghy says:

    I applaud the foundation’s courage to look the nay sayers in the eyes and say enough is enough. The old saying “who died and left you God” comes to mind. All the women who have suffered and died needlessly give you the permission to talk and walk in their absence to say “enough is enough – we will do whatever it takes – however risky or out of protocol it may seem until we find the causes.” Thanks for all you do and for believing that we are worth it!

  2. Kim Saghy says:

    I anxiously await the results of the study involving bacteria and viruses in breast fluid as a possible cause. I would be happy to participate in the study as I have recurrent mastitis as a non-lactating woman and no one seems to understand this rare phenomenon and its connection to breast cancer/risk.

  3. Tracey Sherman says:

    Cancer changes everything! Although I am a survivor now, I can’t go back to my carefree life ever again. Breast cancer needs to go away and I believe that you, Dr Love, are just that person to make this happen! Thank you for all you. I applaud your fortitude and appreciate what you are doing to put an end to this horrible disease!

  4. Wendy Helfand says:

    I agree that the CAUSE and not the CURE should be our focus. I do not consider myself a breast cancer survivor, but a breast cancer treatment survivor!! I am particularly intrigued by your search for clues in duct lavage-harvested cells. I had mastitis while breastfeeding over a decade ago in the breast where the lesion was found. Keep up the great work!

  5. ann vincent says:

    Agree that focus needs to be on etiology. The escalating incidence rates and yet persistent mortality numbers seem to imply somewhat improved diagnostic and therapeutic techniques, or at least more aggressive and earlier applied ones. However, the underlying specific individual vulnerabilities (genetic and epigenetic ?)and probable environmental factors (chemical toxicities,infectious exposures, lifestyle influences, etc) are clearly where research dollars should be focused. Since the most rapid climb in the incidence of this epidemic seems to have developed only over the last 4 decades, it seems reasonable to target environmental factors, possibly in association with specific genetic vulnerabilities, as where to direct intense scrutiny.

  6. Barbara Jacobsen says:

    I did everything known to prevent breast cancer Since 4 benign lesions were removed between age 18 and 28.
    And still got it at age 59. There must be more.
    Please find it so my daughter and granddaughter do not have to go through this too. Thank you.

  7. Barbara Jacobsen says:

    Also the need is great for more early detection.
    Had I demanded an M R I years ago, my lobular
    Cancer may not have made it to stage 2. Mammogram and ultrasound yearly or more often at times, did not detect early enough.
    Speak up and begin to demand insurance companies see the need!

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