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As breast cancer awareness month comes to a close, are you looking for more ways your actions can matter? Consider becoming a research participant!

Our colleagues at Breast Cancer Over Time (BCOT) have partnered with researchers on an important study into how the chemicals we are exposed to everyday impact healthy breast cells. BCOT is a San Francisco-based nonprofit run by breast cancer survivors. They facilitate community-based participatory research to prevent breast cancer in the next generation.

Their study focuses on the chemicals found in personal care products (lotions, cosmetics, shampoo, etc.). Participants give blood, urine, and breast cells (via final needle aspiration) both before and after a period of using study-approved personal care products. As part of the study, participants receive over $200 worth of free, locally-made healthy products and $40 in gift cards. 

Our next quarterly newsletter will feature an article about my own experience participating in the study. I won’t make you wait for my punchline: if you can, you should participate, too! The importance of the research is much greater than the minor inconveniences it caused me. Although the needles nearly scared me off, I left my first study visit feeling like it was no big deal.

If you fit the criteria (see the boxes in the image above) and are interested or you know someone who might, the intake questionnaire can be found at bit.ly/breastcancerovertime. You can contact Samantha Torres at (951) 486-8285 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with any questions.

Don’t qualify for this study? Live too far away? Browse current research participation opportunities at the Army of Women and sign up to be informed of new studies that you might be able to participate in. Note that while it is the Army of "Women," researchers are not exclusively looking for women, so don’t count yourself out on the basis of gender.

Thank you for considering this way of moving beyond awareness and into action!


Written by Lianna Hartmour, ZBC Program Director

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