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#AllStorks: a crowdfunding campaign by “BIG against breast cancer” to support young women that survived breast cancer and dream of having a baby

Intro text: 

- Press Release -

 

Celebrities are giving their support to the crowdfunding campaign BIG Time for Baby and the action #AllStorks, to fund an important international clinical study.

 

Thursday, September 15, 2016 — Breast cancer is the most common cancer, with about 15% of patients being diagnosed during their reproductive years. Jill Vandermeulen and Véronique De Kock call upon the public to participate in the #AllStorks campaign to allow young women who survived hormone dependent breast cancer to try for a baby.

Despite important progress in the last decades, the number of breast cancer diagnostics is on the rise. Today, a woman’s chance of getting breast cancer is 1 in 8. Breast cancer still causes over 500,000 deaths annually in the world. About 15% of patients with breast cancer are diagnosed during their reproductive years.

Breast cancer: a barrier to reproduction?

The majority of young women with early breast cancer have hormone-sensitive, or oestrogen receptor-positive (ER+) disease, meaning the cancer cells are fed by their own hormones. These women are therefore treated with endocrine therapy, that blocks natural production of hormones in order to reduce risks of the cancer returning. Endocrine therapy may be prescribed for 5-10 years and impacts the ovaries, preventing conception while on treatment.

These young women are confronted with an unpleasant dilemma: can the hormonal treatment be paused for up to two years to allow for conception without increasing the risk of breast cancer recurrence?

Today, doctors cannot answer this question based on solid scientific evidence… But these women deserve to know.

The BIG Time for Baby clinical study

BIG Time for Baby is an international clinical study that aims to find an answer to this important question. This unique study will evaluate whether it is safe for women with hormone-sensitive breast cancer to interrupt endocrine therapy for up to 2 years without increasing risk of breast cancer relapse in order to attempt pregnancy and realise their dream of becoming a mother.

Worldwide, up to 500 women younger than 42 that dream of becoming a mother after hormone-sensitive breast cancer are being enrolled to answer this important question. They will interrupt treatment during a period of maximum 2 years to try to get pregnant. The patients will be carefully followed for at least 10 years after enrolment.

Professor Martine Piccart, oncology expert and president of BIG against breast cancer (public name of the international not-for-profit organisation Breast International Group – BIG), stresses the societal importance of this study: “The research associated with pregnancy after breast cancer is limited, making it challenging for a woman to navigate her fertility options. This study is of vital importance – the results will allow to determine the risk of interrupting hormonal treatment for ER+ breast cancer on solid scientific ground, in order to give time to the patient to try for a baby. This information is of great importance to thousands of women worldwide!”

About 100,000 women under 42 are diagnosed with hormone sensitive breast cancer every year. They will benefit from the conclusions of the BIG Time for Baby study and be able to make a well-informed choice about pregnancy.

#AllStorks campaign… because caring is sharing

To allow this important trial to be successfully completed, € 5,400,000 still needs to be raised. This seems to be an enormous amount, but it actually only represents € 3 per day per patient.

To collect these vital funds, BIG against breast cancer, the largest network of academic research groups (with members in more than 50 countries in 6 continents) specifically focusing on breast cancer research, is launching as of half September “BIG Time for Baby”, a global crowdfunding campaign.

The campaign will be recognisable on social media with the #AllStorks. Every participant will be asked to address their network online to help to make this campaign go viral. Because with #AllStorks, together, we can make a BIG difference in the lives of these patients. Caring is sharing.

Everybody knows about the story of the stork delivering babies to people’s houses. Everyone can now join the campaign and just, like the stork, bring good luck and hopefully babies to women that are fighting the return of breast cancer.

Jill Vandermeulen and Véronique De Kock are already supporting this campaign and calling people to join #AllStorks. And you? How many days will you support a patient to give her the opportunity to try to realise her dream of becoming a mother?