About 2 months ago, Cancer Research UK published a study stating that breast cancer can recur up to 20 years after the initial diagnosis. According to the results, the probability of a metastasis occurring later directly correlates to the size of the original tumors and if cancer was found in the lymph nodes. The researchers were surprised that the cancer could remain dormant for so long.
When my mother was first treated for breast cancer in 1998, we were told by her doctors that 7 years was “cured”. In 2005, I remember having a small celebration via telephone. She was free! According to this new study – and what they found in her 16 years later, she was not. The doctors were making the best decisions that they could with the information that they had at the time.
I don’t know if she would have done anything differently if this study had come out 5 years earlier. My mom was already doing everything that was recommended. She went for her yearly mammograms and performed monthly self-exams. Would she have had more detailed scans? I believe she was part of the trials for tamoxifen but had to stop it due to complications from other medical issues. (which I do not have, should I ever need to try a similar drug therapy) At the time, the doctors just didn’t realize that they should be looking deeper.
Beth and I have decided that we want to do our part. We’re hoping to help overcome the lack of funding for research. Starting in November, The Strap Saver joined forces with the Breast Cancer Research Foundation to help raise awareness and money for research. Stage IV (the stage that takes so many women from us) is underfunded and the BCRF has pledged 30% of their grants (almost $18 million) for advancements in this area. In addition, BCRF has established the Evelyn H. Lauder Founder’s Fund, the first large-scale and largest privately funded multi-year international program dedicated to understanding the biology of metastasis (in addition to funding other important research).
We’re hoping to help be the light in this otherwise dark subject. Five percent of all sales, retail and wholesale, will go to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation. (So, if you haven’t, it’s a great time to pick up some Strap Savers!) If you already have all of the Strap Savers that you need, but love Amazon, go to smile.amazon.com and pick BCRF as your charity. Amazon will donate 0.5% of the purchase price of eligible items. If you’re like us, you’re shopping there already and the prices are exactly the same so it’s an easy way to help. Maybe next year BCRF will be able to donate more to Stage IV research. We’ll be one step closer to never again losing another person to this awful disease.
We also know that you are trusting us with your money, so we have vetted the Breast Cancer Research Foundation. Ninety-one cents of every dollar is donated to research. Charity Navigator gave them an A+ and Charity Watch gave them 4 out of 4 stars. BCRF has the highest rating of any breast cancer charity. In addition, I had the opportunity to meet with Dr. Susan Domcheck, a member of the Scientific Advisory Board, personally. She was my doctor for the DNA study at University of Pennsylvania. She was both capable and kind. From my interactions with her, it’s clear that she wants to make a difference.