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AMBER Study - Breast Cancer

AMBER Study - Breast Cancer

Posted by Runner Girl on Jul 17, 2019 12:27 pm

When I was diagnosed with breast cancer last year I was offered the opportunity to participate in the AMBER Study - Alberta Moving Beyond Breast Cancer (AMBER) Study.  I lept at the chance to participate and possibly make things better for women down the road.  I donated blood and my tumors to them (the left over tumor tissue after it was examined). 

"This research study will examine how a woman's usual lifestyle, including physical activity, might affect a number of other factors (behavioral, biological, medical, functional, and psychosocial) after breast cancer diagnosis. By better understanding these factors, we hope to improve breast cancer recovery and survival."

I've just completed Day 1 of my one year follow up with them, Day 2 is set for August 1.  I will again be providing blood and did the first part of the physical testing on Monday afternoon.  I like to run, but my favorite "test" is definitely NOT the Bruce Treadmill Test.  Running uphill as fast as you can with your nose pinched off, breathing thru your mouth into the machine measuring your oxygen usage, etc. is HARD.  The rest of the testing is a piece of cake comparatively.  

As of June, 2019 they reached their quota of 1500 volunteers.  Well done Alberta women! 

If you're interested in more here is a link to their website: https://www.amberstudy.com/

Runner Girl

Re: AMBER Study - Breast Cancer

Posted by Cynthia Mac on Jul 18, 2019 9:24 am

My GOD, girl, you rock!

I currently have the stereotypical, approaching-senior, matronly figure. I wish I liked to move more, but my passions (even Cancer Connection) are sedentary in nature. I could probably watch my diet a lot better too, but as John Pinette once said, “Gluten tastes GOOD!”

I’m making some concessions — I’ve got a good friend who gets me out for a good walk once in a while, I garden and mow my own lawn, and last week, when I was at a conference in a small town on Manitoulin Island, I walked to and from the sessions each day, and left my car at the top of the hill (I have a particular distaste for hills, so that was progress, indeed!)

There’ll be dancing tonight: I’m going to see ELO, and I doubt I’ll be able to keep still!

Anyway, Runner Girl‍, you’re an inspiration!  

Re: AMBER Study - Breast Cancer

Posted by Buffythevampire on Jul 18, 2019 10:42 am

Runner Girl‍ I donated my blood too but not the tissue. But I don't think it for the same thing. It was for research purposes. Plus I am from BC that might make a difference.

Re: AMBER Study - Breast Cancer

Posted by Brighty on Jul 18, 2019 11:59 am

Cynthia Mac‍  you kill me!!!!! You provide  me with a daily laugh ... can always count on you.   Lol!!!!!

Re: AMBER Study - Breast Cancer

Posted by WestCoastSailor on Jul 19, 2019 1:23 pm

Just women with breast cancer?

Just sayin' men get it too.


Re: AMBER Study - Breast Cancer

Posted by Runner Girl on Jul 19, 2019 1:38 pm

Sorry WestCoastSailor‍ , 
Apparently this one is just about the ladies.  Perhaps the rates of men's breast cancer in Alberta are too low to get enough participation.....


Re: AMBER Study - Breast Cancer

Posted by Aries on Jul 19, 2019 2:30 pm

Runner Girl‍ - Gayle, that's amazing - well done you!! But I have to say, if you had a hard time running on a treadmill like that, the rest of us would be screwed! LOL

Re: AMBER Study - Breast Cancer

Posted by WestCoastSailor on Jul 19, 2019 2:38 pm

Runner Girl‍ 

Pet peeve. Don't take it personally. We, men, are only 1% (220 a year) of the breast cancer population. We are often excluded on the basis of statistical validity. My favorite example is tamoxifen treatment. There is no scientific study showing that it is effective in men - yet it is prescribed for us regularly.

At the end of the day it is lung cancer that is going to get me and that was a primary all on its own. But with the smoker stigma there it is just as hard to do advocacy. Though in my case as a non-smoker, I still got it.


Re: AMBER Study - Breast Cancer

Posted by Runner Girl on Aug 2, 2019 1:57 pm

In case anyone is interested, I had part 2 of my Amber Study participation yesterday afternoon.  My next round of testing will be in 2 years.  My results were not as good as last year, before treatment started, but weren't all that bad considering what I've been thru this last year.

Weight - up
Waist - down
Hips - up
Body fat - up
Bone density - up (this is a good thing!)
Arm volume - up (both arms)
Range of motion in shoulders - about the same
Balance - exactly the same
Grip strength left hand - up
Grip strength right hand - down (surgery side)
Chest press - down (same weight 27.5 lbs, 28 reps in 2018, only 20 in 2019)
Leg press - down (100 lbs in 2019, 120 lbs in 2018)
Aerobic Fitness Classification - VO2 max (oxygen usage from the Bruce Treadmill Test) - bordering between very good and excellent in 2019, was excellent in 2018

Overall, while I'm not as fit as I was before I started treatment, I haven't stepped back too far.  Now I've got two years to regain my former fitness before they test me again.