Researchers know that if a woman has a first-degree relative, like a mother or sister, with breast cancer, it can double that woman's risk of the disease. What they don't know is why some family members get breast cancer and others don't.
In an effort to discover more about the familial breast cancer link, a national study is trying to learn how genes and the environment affect the chances of getting breast cancer. The Sister Study is the only long-term study of women between ages 35-74 whose sisters had breast cancer.
The study's goal is to have 50,000 diverse women from all walks of life participate, and breast cancer surgeon Dr. Susan Love believes that this generation can be the one that stops breast cancer.
Participants have an examiner come to their houses to take some body measurements and blood pressure. They are asked to provide some samples such as nail clippings and dust from their homes and to fill out some questionnaires. It's free.
Go to www.armyofwomen.org to find out more about The Sister Study and other breast cancer organizations.