A message from our partners at the Army of Women:

Have you ever wondered why some women who have none of the known risk factors for breast cancer get the disease while other women who have many of these risk factors never do?

Well, if you live in the Baltimore or Chicago area, have had a mammogram in the last 3 months and your results were normal, you may be able to help researchers answer that question by being part of the BEAM study.

This study may sound familiar. That is because we sent out Calls to Action in 2009 and 2010 to recruit 325 women living in the Baltimore, Maryland, or Chicago, Illinois areas. With help from the Army of Women members, the researchers are close to their goal. Now, let’s get them to the finish line! If you have never been diagnosed with breast cancer and you live in the Baltimore or Chicago area, or know someone who does, please read on to learn more about the study.

If you don’t fit the criteria, you can still help by forwarding this email to someone you know who might be interested. Help us close this study and show the researchers the power that the Army of Women has! Remember, if you aren’t able to sign up for this study or if you haven’t been able to sign up for a study so far, we still need you to hang in there. Many more studies are to come, and eventually, everyone will be able to participate in the near future.

What’s the study about?

Today, doctors rely on a woman’s personal and family medical history to help them figure out if she is at higher than average risk of developing breast cancer.

But this method is far from perfect. Many women who develop breast cancer don’t have any of the known risk factors. And many women who have all of the known risk factors never get the disease.

Clearly, we need a better way to tell who is at risk. And that’s what the BEAM (Breast Estrogen and Methylation) study is all about: Finding a better way to predict a woman’s breast cancer risk.

What’s involved?

If you join the study you will be asked to meet with researchers one time at either Johns Hopkins or Northwestern for a study appointment that lasts approximately 2 hours. After you arrive, you will be asked to answer questions about your medical history, have your blood drawn, have fluid removed from your nipple by massaging or suctioning your breast, and have cells removed from your breast using a needle.

Who is conducting the study?

Seema Khan, MD, at Northwestern University and
Vered Stearns, MD, at Johns Hopkins University.


Northwestern University, Chicago, Illinois and Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland

Who can participate?

You can sign up for the BEAM study if you match ALL of these main categories:

-You are a woman between the ages of 35-60

-You are able to go to either the Northwestern University in Chicago, or Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore for the study appointment

-You had a normal mammogram (negative or benign findings) within the past 3 months

-You have not used birth control or hormone replacement therapy within the past 3 months

-You have never been diagnosed with breast cancer

-You do not have breast implants

-You have not had an invasive cancer in the past 5 years

-You have not been pregnant or lactating within the past two years

After you RSVP, the researcher will ask you additional questions to be sure that this study is a right fit for you.