Bethany Hamilton emerged the winner in Surfline’s Battle for the Breasts, a friendly online video competition among some of the world’s best female surfers to raise awareness around breast cancer genetic testing. Participating on behalf of Breastlink and the Cancer Research Collaboration, Hamilton’s victory provided us the opportunity to offer our patients $50,000 worth of genetic testing courtesy of Ambry Genetics.
Battle for the Breasts surfers promote breast cancer awareness.
Breastlink and the Cancer Research Collaboration were honored to have Bethany Hamilton as its representative in Battle for the Breasts. Hamilton has not only proved that she is one of the world’s best surfers with top-place finishes in multiple professional surfing competitions over the last decade, she has admirably confronted adversity when it struck her personally.
In 2003, Hamilton lost an arm as the result of a shark attack while surfing. She did not let this end her surfing career and soon returned to the sport she loves.
“Battle for the Breasts is a great cause and also a great way to showcase women’s surfing,” Bethany Hamilton said. “I was stoked to be representing Breastlink. It made me feel special because I was working hard for something beyond myself.”
Hamilton and 15 other contestants were randomly selected to represent a breast cancer clinic prior to the beginning of Battle for the Breasts. During multiple rounds of voting, competitors added new videos to showcase their surfing skills. Voters had the responsibility of deciding who would advance in the competition. While Hamilton was selected as the winner after four rounds of fan voting, there were no losers.
Each breast cancer clinic participating in the competition will receive a portion of the vouchers, valued at $125,000 in total, being donated for breast cancer genetic testing.
The importance of breast cancer genetic testing.
Breast cancer genetic testing can help many women to make informed decisions about their health care, which offers them the best possible chances at cancer prevention. In women with a strong family history of breast cancer, there is an increased risk for developing breast cancer at a young age.
While many women become more of breast cancer risk as they approach their 40s, younger women are more likely to put off breast health care decisions.
Surfline’s Battle for the Breasts was established to raise awareness of breast cancer genetic testing among younger women who may be at increased risk. Numerous genetic mutations inherited from a mother or father can increase risk.
The earlier a woman learns about a genetic mutation, the more time she has to create a breast health care plan before a potential diagnosis. Vouchers provided through the competition will allow Cancer Research Collaboration and Breastlink an opportunity to provide free genetic testing to patients who could benefit from the service.
Knowledge of the association between breast cancer risk and genetics is growing every year. As more and more information is revealed, physicians and their patients will be better prepared to make decisions about breast cancer screening, as well as how to proceed if a diagnosis is made.
To hear what Hamilton and some of the Breastlink staff have to say, please see the Surfline video announcing the winner of Battle for the Breasts.