Crossing countries and chasing her passion for research, PhD student Amita Gautam Ghadge has been in Adelaide for just six months, leaving her home town of Mumbai in India in the hope her research will prevent women from being diagnosed with breast cancer in Australia and around the world.
Thanks to the support form our donor community, we are proud to be funding Amita’s PhD project, developing preventative and screening strategies for breast cancer in young women. Amita is conducting her PhD through the University of Adelaide under the supervision of Associate Professor Wendy Ingman at the Basil Hetzel Institute for Translational Health Research.
“Currently there are no screening options for women who are classified as too young to get a mammogram. I am hoping with my research we can identify the risk of breast cancer in young women,” Amita said.
Amita plans on achieving this by studying fat in breast development and, most importantly, how that can influence a woman’s risk of breast cancer.
“We are trying to understand how increased fatness during puberty impacts breast cancer risk in adulthood. According to literature, girls that have a high Body Mass Index (BMI) during puberty have a lower breast cancer risk than girls with a low BMI,” Amita explained.
“This is reversed and changes for women after menopause. Women who have a high BMI are more susceptible to developing breast cancer than women with a low BMI.
“High BMI is known to be an independent risk factor for breast cancer and if we can understand that fact then hopefully we can develop a preventative strategy to identify the risk women face developing breast cancer.”
From her research findings, Amita hopes this will enable her to identify women at an early stage of life that might be at a high risk of developing breast cancer through the preventative and screening strategies she would have developed from her research.
“A long-term outcome would be if we can develop these strategies and be able to identify high risk cases we could hopefully prevent breast cancer in women.”
It is thanks to our dedicated supporters that Australian Breast Cancer Research (ABCR) can provide funding for Amita’s revolutionary research that will help prevent women from experiencing the heartbreak of breast cancer.
“The funding from ABCR and their donors means a lot to me and it’s given me a chance to travel to Adelaide and pursue my passion in breast cancer research. I am very grateful to be given the chance to work with A/Prof Ingman who I continue to learn from,” Amita said.
“If my research plays a part in developing strategies that could prevent women battling breast cancer then I would be achieving something immeasurable.”