In this October Breast Cancer Awareness Month, our campaign ‘From Pink to Prevention’ is trying to raise the level of debate about the much marginalised issue of environmental and occupational links to the disease. Sixteen campaigning organisations from England, Scotland, Germany, USA, Australia, Philippines, and several pan-EU networks have signed on to our statement which asks why, despite all the money raised, more and more of us are getting this disease?
In particular, we want to know why the breast cancer charities continue to focus solely on ‘lifestyle’ risk factors such as diet and exercise, while ignoring the potential 60% of breast cancer cases for which they have no explanation. What about the role of chemical, environmental and occupational exposures in this?
We argue that better diagnostics and treatment are not mutually exclusive with looking at how our profoundly polluted environment, homes and workplaces impact on our bodies and health – and we need action on this, if we are to heed the ‘precautionary principle’ .
We want the Pink Ribbon ‘Blindfold’ removed and the BIG QUESTION asked of the Breast Cancer Charities: Why DO they persist in refusing to acknowledge the role of environmental and occupational toxins by ignoring decades of evidence up to the present day on the link between our lifelong (womb to grave) exposures to toxicants and the escalating incidence of breast cancer?
The more of us who ask these big questions of the Breast Cancer Charities, as well as government and industry, the more we can show this issue is getting more attention. We want to know why are those with the power to influence decisions on breast cancer policy not acting on what we already know?
Deb, Helen, Diana
PS A word about TTIP … TTIP will significantly impact on this issue. EU regulations – for example on chemicals that are harmful to human health and many linked to breast cancer – must be strengthened, not weakened, as a result of corporate pressure .
Actions you can take to support our campaign
1. Sign our petition at https://www.change.org/p/breast-cancer-charities-remove-the-pink-ribbon-blindfold-and-ask-the-big-question-83ee6962-5388-4422-bb53-76b76ee8aab1
2. Write to your Breast Cancer Charity to ask them the Big Question. Please send a copy of their response to firstname.lastname@example.org. See an example letter on our website. This is suggested text only – please feel free to adapt and personalise
3 .Join us in removing the pink ribbon blindfold in a group or individually – take a photo removing the blindfold and share on your Facebook page or via social media
Instagram – pink_to_prevention
Flickr group – From Pink to Prevention
Visit our Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/FromPinktoPrevention
Background Links – reading and viewing
1. World Health Organisation Asturias Declaration:http://www.who.int/phe/news/events/international_conference/Call_for_action_en.pdf
2. For more information on the evidence linking breast cancer and environmental and occupational risk factors: http://www.frompinktoprevention.org/resources/scientific-evidence/
3. Find out more about what you can do http://www.frompinktoprevention.org/what-you-can-do/
Films to watch
- Pink Ribbon Inc – Lea Pool, National Film Board of Canada
- Living Downstream, Walking Upstream by Sandra Steingraber.
- Endocrination by Stéphane Horel.
Pink Ribbon Blindfold picture Copyright Mark Chilvers. Thanks to UNISON for the use of the picture. Concept Helen Lynn.
Cartoons Di Ward