By Caitlin Polochak

Staff Reporte, Purdue Exponent

The Susan G. Komen for the Cure Tissue Bank at the IU Simon Cancer Center collected breast tissue samples Saturday.

The Komen Tissue Bank collected samples from women at Clarian Arnett Cancer Care in Lafayette. By collecting samples from women with and without breast cancer, researchers will be able to determine the differences between these populations. Researchers hope it could lead to a better understanding of the disease.

Anna Maria Storniolo, oncologist at the IU Simon Cancer Center, said there were 110 women registered to donate tissue, but walk-ins were also welcome. Women donated blood and about a gram of tissue. In addition, they were asked to fill out a questionnaire about their lifestyle and family history.

Saturday was the third time breast tissue samples have been collected by the Komen Tissue Bank. Storniolo said, after the event, they would have breast tissue samples from over 800 women, and they would be the only breast tissue samples in the world.

“The main purpose of the tissue bank is to be there as a resource for researchers all over the world,” Storniolo said.

Connie Rufenbarger, a breast cancer survivor of Warsaw, Ind., said having an understanding of the normal breast tissue is critical in understanding the disease. She said it’s important to identify the real risk of the disease and work in treating the prevention.

“The disease makes you realize that the days are not something you are entitled to,” Rufenbarger said. “They are something you are fortunate to have.”

Storniolo said research indicates regular exercise decreases the risk of breast cancer. In addition, not smoking, having a diet that is rich in fruits and vegetables, and taking a vitamin D supplement will decrease the risk as well.

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