The 12th annual Avon Walk for Breast Cancer season concluded with the Charlotte Walk on October 26, raising $1.4 million to accelerate breast cancer research and improve access to screening, diagnosis, treatment and education. Hazel Nichols, PhD, assistant professor epidemiology at UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health is leading one of five teams in the Carolinas awarded a grant of $200,000 to support a study that will analyze data from 18 ongoing studies on pregnancy-associated breast cancer.

Eloise Caggiano, a breast cancer survivor and Avon Walk for Breast Cancer program director, announced five new grants to local breast cancer organizations, ensuring the funds raised will immediately benefit the local community. “These grants represent only a portion of the funding that the Avon Foundation will distribute in the Carolinas and across the country this year, but we want to make sure the impact of your Walk begins today,” said Caggiano.

Breast cancers diagnosed during the postpartum period are more likely to be at an advanced stage compared to those diagnosed among similarly-aged women who have not given birth. Together with member studies in the National Cancer Institute Cohort Consortium, this grant makes it possible to collect information from more than a million women (including >15,000 breast cancer diagnoses) to examine pregnancy-related breast cancer according to maternal age, breastfeeding patterns, and tumor subtype.“It’s a privilege to receive this grant at the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer closing ceremony,” said Nichols. “It’s a great opportunity for walkers and supporters to see the research their efforts make possible and to be able to say thank you in person.”