Two finalists remain in Surfline’s Battle for the Breasts, a contest pitting some of the world’s leading women surfers against one another to raise breast cancer awareness.

Breastlink has an opportunity to receive $50,000 worth of hereditary breast cancer genetic testing vouchers if its representative in the competition, Bethany Hamilton, wins in the final round of voting. Voting ends on Sunday, October 26, 2014.

Battle for the Breasts Hereditary Breast Cancer

Hereditary Breast Cancer Testing Vouchers

Breastlink is honored to be represented by Bethany Hamilton. She has proven herself to be one of the world’s best surfers with multiple top-place finishes in numerous professional surfing competitions over the last decade. Hamilton’s ascension to this position did not occur without adversity.

In 2003, she was a victim of a shark attack and lost her arm. Despite this, Hamilton worked hard to return to the sport she loves. The Cancer Research Collaboration, which is a nonprofit research corporation that works with Breastlink, was excited to learn that we had been partnered with Bethany in Battle for the Breasts.

Battle for the Breasts contestants were paired with 16 randomly selected breast cancer clinics and foundations for the chance to win hereditary breast cancer testing vouchers. Out of 16 surfers who began Battle for the Breasts, Bethany Hamilton and Tatiana Weston-Webb emerged after three rounds of voting as the finalists.

While Breastlink eyes the top prize, there will not be any losers. A portion of the testing vouchers will be divvied up among all clinics involved to ensure patients of each clinic has the chance to benefit. Battle for the Breasts is an entertaining event that allows breast cancer clinics an opportunity to educate women about breast cancer awareness.

“For more than 20 years, Breastlink has demonstrated a strong commitment to our scientific understanding of cancer genetics, by supporting clinical research trials and promoting awareness through educational campaigns,” said Dr. Lisa Curcio, medical director of breast surgery for Breastlink Laguna Hills.

“Genetic testing has already proven helpful in identifying high-risk patients and using this information to personalize their treatment plans. Future advancements in our understanding of the genetic differences in breast cancers will help to develop treatment plans tailored to the cancer genetics and use targeted therapies against identified deficiencies in their cancer. Breastlink is excited to be part of this fun-hearted competition that will benefit many women and raise awareness around genetic testing for breast cancer risk.”

Raising Awareness around Genetic Testing for Breast Cancer

Prevention of cancer is the ultimate goal by identifying at risk families and making interventions to reduce the risk of cancer. If this is not possible, education and early detection of breast cancer is essential to achieving optimal outcomes. The risk of developing cancer is especially high in some women with a strong family history of the disease. This information may lead to a personally designed breast health and screening plan in accordance with a genetic risk profile.

Through hereditary breast cancer testing, mutations known to increase breast cancer risk can be identified. Physicians can use this information to identify patients who may benefit from early screening or interventions to reduce risk. A significant number of breast cancers, between 7-10 percent, are caused by genetic mutations that a woman inherits from her parents.

breast cancer risk factors | Breast Cancer Type Breakdown

Graphic courtesy of Ambry Genetics.

Vouchers awarded through Battle for the Breasts will allow Breastlink an opportunity to provide genetic testing for a range of gene mutations that can increase a woman’s chance of developing breast cancer.

These include BRCA1 and BRCA2, two genes that may have changes that could be responsible for approximately one-half of hereditary breast cancers.

There are more than 17 genes associated with an increased risk for breast cancer – with more being identified nearly every year.

Battle for the Breasts is sponsored by Ambry Genetics and the Mauli Ola Foundation. The final round of voting will begin on Wed., Oct. 22, 2014. The winner will be announced on October 29. Visit surfline.com to cast your vote.

To learn more about genetic testing services available through Breastlink, please call 714.804.0940 or use our online ‘Contact Us’ form.

Bethany Hamilton | Battle for the Breasts