In the ongoing work to end breast cancer, the work of Dr. Susan Love will transcend her lifetime to be integrated into research, clinical work and breast cancer awareness education around the globe.
Dr. Love established herself as a surgeon in Los Angeles, becoming a trailblazer and a beacon in the work to end breast cancer here, first. Now, Tower Cancer Research Foundation extends its mission by establishing the Dr. Susan Love Fund for Breast Cancer Research. We’re embarking on a mission to expand the research army she launched; we’ll host the annual Walk With Love, and work to supply every patient and family with the fundamental information they need in the Dr. Susan Love’s Breast Book now in its 7th Edition.
Tower Cancer Research Foundation funds high impact cancer research and supports a range of survivorship programs. As Tower gains the assets of the Dr. Susan Love Foundation, the focus remains, with additional resources and reach to carry on their vital work and integrate the work of Dr. Susan Love and her foundation.
Susan was the Chief Visionary Officer of her foundation, and that vision included the planned obsolescence of her foundation, which supported her work. A couple of years ago, with the evolution of AI, the pilot program for handheld screening devices that Susan had envisioned was well underway. Detection could happen anywhere, for anyone, regardless of access to a top-tier medical center. Mapping of the breast ductal system was nearing completion in a collaboration with QT Imaging initiated five years ago by the National Institutes of Health.
With her typical prescience and pragmatism, Susan asked me to begin planning for the foundation’s sunsetting at the end of 2024. Like all of her work, Susan approached it with a strategic mindset and full transparency. Susan died in July, having instigated and approved all of the plans in place for the future of her work. In the course of her work, Dr. Susan Love changed the story about breast cancer. She began her career as a surgeon, and when she stepped back from the operating room, she brought everything she learned from her practice and her patients. It’s no exaggeration to say that her observations fueled the future of breast cancer research and treatment.
Susan Love had two key insights critical to changing the treatment of breast cancer. She saw that often, too much was being done, too many mastectomies and other invasive treatments. That was because there was also too little being done. Too little research, too few clinical trials, too few women subjects. Those ideas were foundational to her launching the Dr. Susan Love Foundation for Breast Cancer Research.
Many of Susan’s goals were attained. Beyond meeting her own benchmarks, perhaps most remarkable achievement is that her ideas, once considered iconoclastic and fringe, now define the global standard of care. Susan had no modest goals, and yet, with intention, tireless work and sharp insights at every turn, she methodically made and met her goals.
What mattered most to Susan was outcomes.
Millions of people around the world will receive a breast cancer diagnosis this year. What Dr. Susan Love understood was that for each of them and their families, the outcome is all that matters.
That compassion illuminated Susan’s work, and the map she drew for the future of her work by inspiring colleagues to press ahead. Tower Cancer Research Foundation will be at the forefront of this work.
To all of you who have worked alongside Susan, her gratitude, and your impact, is real. Thank you for continuing to support the work until we are living in a world without breast cancer.
Christopher Clinton Conway
Chief Executive Officer