Pickleball for Pink Presented by Texas Oncology
Play to Conquer Breast Cancer!
Special Thanks To
Play to Conquer Breast Cancer!
This breast cancer awareness month, “Pickleball for Pink” is donating its proceeds to Women Who Conquer Cancer - a groundbreaking sub-program of "Conquer Cancer" that grants Young Investigator Awards (YIA) and Career Development Awards to women scientists. When we meet our goal, all donations will go to a YIA that will enable the recipient to launch a research project focussed on the hereditary nature of breast cancer.
This year’s fundraiser was sparked by the recent experience of a young cancer survivor, Hattie Sherman. Shortly after her 27th birthday, she found a suspicious lump in her chest. After meeting with her doctor, Hattie learned she had an aggressive form of breast cancer. Throughout her treatment and recovery, Hattie noticed a shortage of research and resources available for younger women with this disease, especially for those who carry breast-cancer-causing genetic mutations that haven't been studied yet.
This year, Hattie and Recess Pickleball are working together on the first annual “Pickleball for Pink” fundraiser, to raise awareness about breast cancer in younger women and the need for further research. Together they have designed a limited-edition "Breast Cancer Awareness" pickleball paddle which can be purchased through the link below. Half of the proceeds from these paddle sales will go towards this fundraiser.
1 in 8 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer during her lifetime, 1 in 1,000 pregnancies leave the mother with pregnancy-associated breast-cancer, and an estimated 30% or more of all breast cancer in young women is diagnosed in the few years after a woman has had a baby. Compared to older women, young women generally face more aggressive cancers, lower survival rates, and statistics show there has been a slow rise in cases each year.
Even with these high statistics, prevention and screening doesn’t begin until at least 40 years old. Younger women rely on manual exams at their yearly OBGYN appointments. Self-exams help a woman understand the normal feel of her chest and possibly feel a major change, but research has not shown a clear benefit of regular manual exams in identifying masses at all but especially those that aren’t located right at the surface. To find those potential deeper masses, there isn’t a readily available technology that can cheaply and accurately look within a younger woman’s breast. In order to obtain a mammogram or MRI as a younger woman, a mass must have already been found or one must be BRCA positive.
As of now, the only younger people that receive early screening are those known to be “BRCA positive”. Two genes, variants of the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes, have been proven to increase the likelihood of 45% to 85% for developing breast cancer in your lifetime, along with increases in ovarian, prostate, and pancreatic cancer. People who test positive for either of these genes, can receive annual MRIs as early as the age of 25. These are the only two genetic mutations that have been studied and proven to cause breast cancer, but there are thought to be hundreds of gene mutations, including the one that runs in Hattie’s family, that have yet to be studied. Access to gene testing is expensive and limited. “Play for Pink” has chosen breast cancer genomics as the receiver of this year’s fundraising, in hopes that increased funding to research will increase early screening in younger women and change the discussion of breast cancer from being a later in life problem to simply a “life” problem where prevention begins at birth. With this change, the hope is we help lower the high statistic of 1 in 8 women to none at all.