October is the month where everything turns pink to support breast cancer awareness.
A breast cancer registry started in 2006 at the University of Cincinnati Medical Center is producing results for researchers. The registry connects researchers with people who have had breast cancer or have a family history of it. Cancer Institutes track their patients but Dr. Susan Pinney with the UC and Cincinnati Cancer institutes says similar registries are rare.
"I know of two other places in the country that, after we did this, have done the same thing," she says.
UC's registry is different because it takes participants from across the region and from other cancer centers.
Pinney not only directs the registry, she uses it herself. It's enabled her to compare hormones from girls with and without a family history of breast cancer and they approach puberty.
"Hormone profiles that regulate the time of puberty are somewhat different for girls who have a family history of breast cancer versus those who do not," she says.
Pinney expects to present her full findings early next year.
Several research projects are currently underway, including one partnership with New York's Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Institute.
Some 5,600 people are now on the list. Researchers can apply to use data collected from registry participants or use it to solicit participants for studies.
Pinney says the registry isn't just for women, but the number of male participants is very low.