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October Series: Breast Cancer Awareness Month

EllenWarner

“Fertility Studies in Young Women with Breast Cancer”

 

by Dr. Ellen Warner, MD, M.Sc., FRCPC, FACP

 

For many years there has been a gap in research focusing on breast cancer patients who are aged 40 and younger.  Since these women represent just over 5% of all breast cancer cases, they have generally constituted a very small subset of the patients enrolled in clinical trials, which has made it difficult to make progress in addressing the very unique medical and psychosocial issues of this population.  A recent Canadian study called RUBY (Reducing the bUrden of Breast cancer in Young women), http://www.womensresearch.ca/ruby-study, jointly funded by the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation and Canadian Institutes of Health Research, is attempting to change this situation.  Over 4 years, 1200 women aged 40 and younger newly diagnosed with breast cancer at 32 cancer centres and hospitals across Canada will be enrolling in RUBY.  Almost 200 women have enrolled to date and recruitment is well on target to be completed in 2019. The overall goal of this study is to improve the cure rate and quality of life of young women with breast cancer. RUBY has several sub-studies, two of which, SPOKE and GYPSY, relate to fertility issues.

 

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