National Breast Cancer Coalition

Myth #26: All breast cancer research is good because it moves us toward prevention and a cure

FALSE. Not all breast cancer research is created equal. Science can be complex and research must be well designed and rigorous. No matter what kind of research. But it is not just about research design. If research focuses on issues that ultimately will not help people, it doesn’t matter how scientifically sound the research is.

It seems hard to believe that breast cancer research is not always valuable. But the truth is, poorly designed research—including clinical trials—provide no meaningful information, and can actually be harmful because the results can be very misleading. On the other hand, the most elegant study in the world can only answer the questions it was designed to answer. A small and limited research question will inevitably produce a small and limited answer.

There are many potential breast cancer research topics. The scientific community alone should not prioritize research based on what’s most important to them. What’s important to patients has to be a main component. That’s why breast cancer advocates need to be involved in all levels of the research process. NBCC trains breast cancer advocates so they can help shape the future of breast cancer research.

Learn more about NBCC's Research Initiative.