Research has shown that women with a family history of breast cancer have a higher risk for developing the disease. That's true whether the family history is on the mother's side or the father's. And it's especially true if the women in the family were diagnosed with the disease before the age of 50.
• Call 1-800-4CANCER to reach the Cancer Information Service, a program of the National Cancer Institute. They can give you clinical trial information over the phone, or send it by mail.
The researchers found that African American women with a family history of breast or ovarian cancer were significantly less likely to have genetic counseling for BRCA1 and BRCA2 testing than white women with similar family histories:
Some studies have a sponsor, such as a pharmaceutical company or a biotechnology company, that will pay for the new drug being tested. But rarely do they cover the costs of hospital and doctor visits, x-rays, blood tests, and other procedures.
Why aren't we moving faster in finding effective treatments for breast cancer?
One of the reasons is that advances in treatment depend on a combination of laboratory research and careful evaluation in patients with cancer. New drugs and procedures that look promising in test tubes, and even in mice, have to be evaluated in people. This process is known as a clinical trial.