It's called the Sister Study and it's all about recruiting sisters of women who've battled breast cancer. It's the first long-term follow up study to try and find hereditary and environmental risk factors for the disease. And researchers are looking for more sisters who might fit into their research.
The study is sponsored in part by the National Institutes of Health. Women in the study receive a kit instructing them to submit all sorts of stuff from urine and blood samples to a swipe of house dust and even something else that sounds bizarre. "Toenail clippings, now everybody wants to know why do they want our toenails. Your toenails are actually a powerful repository of metals and exposures over many years," says Sara Williams, Breast Cancer Survivor.
"Well, I think we really need to find what's causing this disease, environmental as well as genetic and do something to help all the women out there who don't have breast cancer so that doesn't happen," says Jan Lisnosff, a breast cancer study volunteer.
Women enrolled in the study go through a two-hour long telephone interview which is very comprehensive with questions about your medical history, work and where you live. The study is expected to continue for 10 years.
If you'd like to be a part of the sister study, you must have a sister or half sister with breast cancer, and be between the ages of 35 and 74. For more information, call 1-877-4-SISTER.