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Dr. Susan Love Research Foundation Launches Quality of Life Questionnaire

  Health of Women [HOW] Study™ Documents the Real Cost of Breast Cancer Treatments October 21, 2014 SANTA MONICA, CA – For more than thirty years, the month of October has signaled a time to put on the pink and talk about breast cancer. This decades-long focus on early detection and the cure heralds those who have gone through breast cancer treatment as survivors and surrounds them in a celebratory pink cloud, heightening the perception that once a person has been diagnosed and gone through treatment, the journey is over and life can return to normal. For many patients, though, life does not resume as normal. Rather, they find themselves needing to adjust to a new normal; one that includes dealing with the physical and emotional side effects of their treatments. Today, Dr. Susan Love Research Foundation launched the Quality of Life questionnaire as part of its online international breast cancer cohort, the Health of Women [HOW] Study. In order to focus more research and action on finding the cause and prevention of breast cancer, and to ensure that newly-diagnosed patients fully understand the implications of their different treatment options, the Foundation set out to study the real impact of today’s breast cancer treatments. The Quality of Life questionnaire is the formal documentation phase of a project that began in the fall of 2013, when Dr. Susan Love Research Foundation and 19 other breast cancer organizations, including Susan G. Komen and Young Survival Coalition, put out a call to breast cancer survivors to send in their questions about the side effects of their treatments. More than 3,200 women responded with over 9,000 questions spanning a broad array of topics, and highlighting the lack of information or understanding about the short- and long-term impact their treatments would have on their quality of life. However, some of the most frequently reported side effects could also be attributed to other causes, such as the normal aging process, or the impact of other chronic or inherited diseases. “We’re using the Quality of Life questionnaire to collect data from everyone, with and without a history of breast cancer, so we can compare the specific symptoms that were identified as possible side effects of breast cancer treatment with the kinds of quality of life symptoms experienced by the general population,” said Dr. Susan Love, chief visionary officer. “We want an accurate report of the collateral damage due to breast cancer treatment. And we also want to identify whether some people (with or without breast cancer) are more susceptible to certain quality of life symptoms than others.” MOST FREQUENTLY REPORTED SIDE EFFECTS OF BREAST CANCER TREATMENT   SOURCE: Dr. Susan Love Research Foundation. Questionthecure.org input from 3,200 breast cancer survivors on side effects of their treatments. October 2013-June 2014. About the Health of Women [HOW] Study The Health of Women [HOW] Study is a first-of-its-kind international online study for women and men with and without a history of breast cancer. The study collects health-related data on topics like family history, reproductive history, diet and exercise, and environmental exposures, to help identify specific risk factors, potential causes of breast cancer, and prevention opportunities. The study is open to any person aged 18 and over with access to a computer. “We need people of every age, gender, geography, and ethnicity to participate in [HOW],” said Dr. Love. “The more data we collect, the more the results will reflect the general population, as well as allowing us to understand risk factors for specific segments of the population. Ultimately, we’re looking for clues to what causes breast cancer and how to prevent it.” The [HOW] Quality of Life questionnaire is now available for completion. To learn more and to register, visit www.healthofwomenstudy.org and follow the registration instructions in the “Join HOW” box. Participants can choose to participate in the Quality of Life questionnaire first, and complete other questionnaires at their leisure. About Dr. Susan Love Research Foundation Dr. Susan Love Research Foundation is dedicated to achieving a future without breast cancer by engaging the public and the scientific communities in innovative research on cause and prevention. We do this through performing and facilitating innovative and collaborative research, translating science to engage the public as informed partners, and inspiring novel research. Dr. Susan Love Research Foundation has received a 4-star Charity Navigator rating for three consecutive years, putting it in the top 12% of rated charities in terms of fiscal performance, accountability, and transparency. The Foundation is also a GuideStar Exchange Silver Level participant and a member of the Better Business Bureau Wise Giving Alliance. Dr. Susan Love Research Foundation, and its more than 376,000 volunteers nationwide, invite you to become part of a movement to engage the public in breast cancer research with the goal of eradicating the disease once and for all. To learn more and show your support, visit www.DrSusanLoveResearch.org. ###