Making The “Army of Women” Idea Even Better

July 13, 2009 at 1:15 am Leave a comment

Last fall, I learned of Dr. Susan Love’s “Army of Women.”   This cause is moving in the direction of proactive civic participation with the breast cancer community.  From their site:

Women who are interested register on the Love/Avon Army of Women website, providing very basic information such as name, age, city, and state of residence.  Army of Women members will receive email updates from the Love/Avon Army of Women announcing new research studies looking for volunteers just like you.  The email will detail the research project and who and what the researchers need.  If you fit the criteria and you’d like to participate, all you need to do is reply to the email and let us know you’ve accepted our “Call to Action.”

This is a great first step, but it still keeps all the research proprietary.  In other words, there won’t be a centralized database kept on all participants across all studies they’ve participated in.  Why?  It’s likely, at least in part, due to the politics of funding medical research.

The result?  The September 15, 2008 Newsweek article entitled “We Fought Cancer…and Cancer Won” said that it is “indeed possible (and common) for cancer researchers to achieve extraordinary acclaim and success, measured by grants, awards, professorships, and papers in leading journals, without ever helping a single patient gain a single extra day of life.  There is no pressure within science to make that happen.”

While I think the AOW is a great idea, it can be made better.  Doctors need to share their data.  After all,  I own my medical history.  If I want to make my answers “public” to other medical investigators, why can’t I?  It would be a shame if egos trumped finding much needed cures.

Please click on the StandUp2Cancer badge on the main blog page.  For every completed click, this charity receives money from my sponsor.

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Entry filed under: New Medical Ressearch Approaches, Public Participation in Cancer Research. Tags: , , , , , , .

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