In 1999, Watson-Ellyson was the first woman to enroll in the Study of Tamoxifen and Raloxifene (STAR) at The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center.
Following three years of study enrollment, breast cancer prevention researchers at M. D. Anderson continue seeking women of all races to participate in STAR, one of the largest breast cancer prevention studies ever conducted.
Because of her participation, Watson-Ellyson repeats her daily ritual, with one small addition. She takes a shower, brushes her teeth, takes her vitamins-and takes her STAR pill.
It's just that simple, as is her reason for participating.
"This research gives us hope. Sitting around worrying is worse for you," says the 60-year-old Continental Airlines ticket agent.
STAR, sponsored by the National Surgical Adjuvant Breast and Bowel Project and the National Cancer Institute, compares two drugs, tamoxifen and raloxifene, to determine which prevents breast cancer more effectively with the least side effects.
"Postmenopausal women from all racial and ethnic backgrounds are encouraged to participate in STAR, but because African-American women are more likely to die of breast cancer than any other racial or ethnic group, we particularly are encouraging them to enroll," says Dr. Therese Bevers, STAR principal investigator at M. D. Anderson.
With 266 women enrolled to date--about 66 percent of the institutional goal of 400--M. D. Anderson remains the single largest recruitment site of 400 participating sites throughout the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico. M. D. Anderson ranks third among participating sites in minority enrollment, with 48 minority women--about 18 percent of parti
Contact: Alison Ruffin
University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center