National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences   —  National Institutes of Health   —  U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

The Sister Study

Making a difference for future generations of women

Sisters changing lives

Sisters Changing Lives Sample Collection

The Sister Study announces a new initiative: The Sisters Changing Lives Sample Collection. Approximately 4,000 Sister Study participants, some of whom have been diagnosed with breast cancer since joining the study, will be invited to complete a second sample collection similar to the one done when they enrolled.  The Sisters Changing Lives Sample Collection will allow researchers to compare the original samples and samples given as part of this follow-up collection to learn how exposures and biological factors can change with time, age, and health. The differences we find may inform cancer prevention and health improvement after breast cancer. We believe women in the study and women participating in the second sample collection are truly Changing Lives!

Why another sample collection?

A second sample collection will allow the Sister Study to identify changes in biological factors that may be related to breast cancer risk and survival. The women in Sisters Changing Lives will be selected from two groups of participants: women who have developed breast cancer since enrolling in The Sister Study and a random sample of other women in the cohort. The second set of samples from women with breast cancer may help identify changes that may be associated with breast cancer development or its treatment, or help identify new factors to be investigated as early markers of breast cancer. The second set of samples collected from women without breast cancer will allow us to identify to what extent those changes are due to time or natural variation and further explore differences between women who do and do not develop breast cancer.

What’s involved? 

Before the visit, participants will receive a kit, answer questions about activities and exposures in the 24 hours before the blood draw, and collect urine, dust, and toenail clippings. The visit will involve having an examiner measure height, weight, waist, hips, pulse, and blood pressure; collect a blood sample; and retrieve the forms and samples completed by the participant before the visit. Visits will be conducted in the home or other convenient place by EMSI, the same professional team that collected samples during the initial visit. As always, Sisters also have the option of having their own health provider collect the blood sample and measurements.

If you have been invited

Please know that the longer you stay in the study and share the changes in your life, the more we will learn - so daughters, nieces and granddaughters may have a stronger fight against this disease.

Please Contact Us if you have questions or have misplaced any of the items we sent to you when you accepted the invitation to be a part of this sample collection. You may also go to Answers to Your Questions about the Sisters Changing Lives Sample Collection to see a more detailed list of questions and answers about the Sisters Changing Lives initiative. 

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