While these and other studies focus on hormones and lifestyle, the Sister Study plans to follow 50,000 Latinas and other women whose sisters have had cancer to examine how the environment and genes affect the chances of getting the disease. The research, conducted by the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences of the National Institutes of Health, advances science while offering women an opportunity to support—or memorialize—their sisters.
Cruz Mireles, whose sister survived breast cancer, joined the study.
“I have been with her through the lumpectomy, radiation, chemo treatments, hair loss, emotional ups and downs, support group meetings, and fundraising events,” says Mireles, who lives in Arizona and is of Mexican descent. “I want to do my part in finding a cure.”
The "one in seven" statistic rings true for the women of AARP Segunda Juventud. Read how Executive Editor Julia Bencomo Lobaco beat breast cancer and how the disease has affected her life over the last four years.