What Breast Cancer Research Advocates Do
The concept of training breast cancer advocates to understand the language and concepts of science has led to an expansion of their traditional roles beyond that of supporting individual patients. It has taken hard work and vision to establish this role in the scientific community, but it is more and more the norm. Now, breast cancer advocates who participate in special educational activities are playing important roles in many significant ways that impact large groups of patients. Many advocates serve as research advocates and impact the way research is done and what kinds of research proposals get funded. Their influence is demonstrated in a variety of ways:
Serving on institutional review boards (IRBs)
Reviewing research grants, in programs such as the Department of Defense Breast Cancer Research Program
Helping to communicate scientific results to the general public
Lobbying for and supporting research into the causes of breast cancer
Sitting on clinical trials steering committees and advising scientists on trial design
Serving on Data Safety Monitoring Boards of clinical trials
Attending and presenting at major breast cancer research symposia
NBCC’s Project LEAD® provides training to advocates, giving them the scientific background and tools they need to participate in the scientific process at all levels. There are courses designed for every level of interest and ability and are offered several times a year in different parts of the country. To learn more about how Project LEAD influences the research process and how you can get involved, click here.
To read about some of the ways Project LEAD graduates are using their LEAD education to bring change, read our advocate profiles.