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Cancer Prevention Lab

What is BreastWatch?

While a number of tools to assess breast cancer risk have been identified (e.g. Gail Score and breast density), these factors tend to apply to populations of women, and are not reliable predictors at the level of the individual. The overall goal of this work is to identify modifiable factors that can be used to quantify and monitor an individual’s risk for breast cancer.

To accomplish this goal, we propose to establish and maintain a multi-disciplinary, clinical research program for women identified at increased risk for breast cancer using existing criteria. The project will:

  1. accrue and maintain a cohort of women at increased risk for breast cancer and offer them the opportunity to participate in ongoing research related to clinical issues that are associated with the prevention and early detection of breast cancer, and
  2. permit the opportunity for optional collection of blood, urine and/or breast nipple aspirate fluid that will be utilized to develop and evaluate tests that can identify, quantify and follow changes in risk for breast cancer.

How will this study involve me?

You will be asked to provide medical information about you and your family. You will be asked to update this information at each clinical visit.

You may also be asked to participate in research studies for women at increased risk for breast cancer in order to help us learn more about prevention and early detection of breast cancer. These studies are entirely voluntary and will require a separate consent form.

In addition, the project contains an optional component in which you will be asked to provide blood, urine and/or nipple aspirate fluid. These samples will be utilized to develop and evaluate tests that may help to identify, quantify and follow changes in an individual’s breast cancer risk.

Your name and other identifying information will be separated from the results of your tests as well as from any written information that you provide us. All results will be kept in file cabinets located in locked offices and in encrypted, password protected computer files. Your identity will be coded as a number on paper and in the computer alongside your results. Only the study investigators and the people they designate will have access to the numeric code, which identifies you by name. The study results will NOT be put in your medical records. No HMO’s or insurance companies will be allowed access to the results.

Who is eligible?

Women who are identified as being at increased risk for breast cancer will be eligible for this study. Some factors that may be used for determining risk include: one or more first degree relatives diagnosed as having breast cancer and/or atypical hyperplasia in benign breast biopsies.

What are the costs?

There are no costs to participate in this study apart from the costs associated with your annual or semi-annual clinical visit and your annual routine mammography.

Whom do I contact?

Mary Playdon at 303-370-7937 or by email at mary.playdon at colostate.edu


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