Healthy breast tissue collection event March 3 to help cancer research

Women must schedule an appointment by March 2


Women can donate their healthy breast tissue March 3 at Banner MD Anderson in Gilbert. The tissue will be used to help breast cancer researchers make advances against the disease. (Photo credit: Susan G. Komen Tissue Bank Facebook page)

Women in the Phoenix area are needed to help breast cancer researchers make advances against the disease.

The world’s only healthy breast tissue bank, housed at Indiana University School of Medicine and the Indiana University Melvin and Bren Simon Cancer Center, is traveling to Banner MD Anderson Cancer Center in Gilbert for a breast tissue collection event.

Women can donate their healthy breast tissue from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Saturday, March 3, at Banner MD Anderson, 2946 E. Banner Gateway Drive.

“We are so excited to host this unique normal breast tissue collection at Banner MD Anderson Cancer Center,” said Lida Mina, M.D., a breast medical oncologist, said in a press release. “Breast cancer still affects too many lives and researchers are still trying to figure out this complex disease. By donating normal breast tissue, a woman can help scientists understand more about breast cancer. We believe that this is a truly genuine and personal way for women to contribute to breast cancer research.”

To date, more than 5,000 women have contributed breast tissue samples to the bank, the Susan G. Komen Tissue Bank at the IU Simon Cancer Center.

By collecting samples from women without breast cancer, researchers may be able to determine the differences between healthy and cancerous tissue, which will lead to a better understanding of the disease.

The tissue bank is a resource within the Vera Bradley Foundation for Breast Cancer Research Laboratories at IU, which includes more than 30 physicians and scientists who are focused on preventing, treating, and curing breast cancer, according to the release.

While the bank is physically located in Indiana, the tissue is made available to researchers throughout the country and the world.

What to expect during the donation process

Physicians, staff and volunteers from IU’s Komen Tissue Bank and Banner MD Anderson will collect the tissue samples for this breast cancer clinical trial.

During the donation process, a tissue sample is taken from one breast with a needle and local anesthesia. The amount of tissue taken is about one gram (or the size of two peas).

To participate, women must:

  • Be 18 or older.
  • Have the ability to understand and the willingness to sign an informed consent.
  • Be willing to give one hour of their time to complete a questionnaire and a breast biopsy.
  • Not be allergic to local anesthetics (numbing medicine).
  • Not be receiving a therapeutic blood thinner (this does not include aspirin).
  • To register, visit or call the Komen Tissue Bank at the IU Simon Cancer Center’s toll-free number, 866-763-0047. Donors must have a confirmed appointment time, and an appointment must be scheduled by March 2.

Prior to the donation, participants will complete an informed consent document and an online questionnaire, height and weight measurements will be taken, and a blood sample will be taken. The entire process usually takes 60 to 90 minutes.

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