Dear friends, colleagues and supporters,
As we continue our effort to ask The Big Question on environmental and occupational links to breast cancer, here are some links to our latest blogs and campaign updates.
MEETING WITH BREAST CANCER NOW
Earlier this month, Helen Lynn and Deborah Burton met with key Breast Cancer Now staff – Delyth Morgan (chief Executive) and Eluned Hughes (Head of Public Health and Information) to primarily discuss the reasons why their organisation (the UK’s leading breast cancer charity) persists in categorising environmental risks as doubtful along with the body of evidence that does link the two. We also wanted to ask if and when BCN could join with us and start to both accept and act upon the existing evidence (not least, share the information with the public who look to them for guidance). It was a constructive first conversation and we are looking forward to keeping the issue on their agenda.
Our latest blog about the meeting is here and our post-meeting follow up letter in full is here. Continue reading
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’ .
Dear friends, supporters, colleagues,
From Pink to Prevention –a new campaign
Save the Date for our first campaign meeting on Tuesday 27th January 6.30pm – more details at end of page
Welcome to our new campaign: From Pink to Prevention. We want to:-
- put the questions out there about environmental and occupational links to breast cancer.
- offer up some answers as to WHY primary prevention is persistently ignored.
- make the barriers to primary prevention widely known.
- focus on the vested interests barrier and share that information with the public, media, sister campaign groups, politicians and policy-makers.
- identify some key ‘vested interests’ and view their real and potential impact on breast cancer policy, from government through to cancer establishment.
- provide readily accessible and thoroughly referenced information for the general public.
- offer simple but innovative actions that can be taken to bring about positive change.
A new campaign on breast cancer: environment, occupation & obstacles to getting both of these risk factors taken seriously in the breast cancer debate
FROM PINK to PREVENTION is a new breast cancer campaign that exposes the barriers to achieving ‘primary prevention’ – stopping the disease before it starts. Central to our campaign is one big fundamental question we seek to put to all those individuals, organisations and institutions with the power to make or to influence decisions affecting public and occupational health in general and breast cancer incidence in particular.
Nikola Biller-Andorno, M.D., Ph.D., and Peter Jüni, M.D., “Abolishing Mammography Screening Programs? A View from the Swiss Medical Board,” 23 April 2014, The New England Journal of Medicine
… The Swiss Medical Board’s report was made public on February 2, 2014 (www.medical-board.ch). It acknowledged that systematic mammography screening might prevent about one death attributed to breast cancer for every 1000 women screened, even though there was no evidence to suggest that overall mortality was affected. At the same time, it emphasized the harm — in particular, false positive test results and the risk of overdiagnosis. For every breast-cancer death prevented in U.S. women over a 10-year course of annual screening beginning at 50 years of age, 490 to 670 women are likely to have a false positive mammogram with repeat examination; 70 to 100, an unnecessary biopsy; and 3 to 14, an overdiagnosed breast cancer that would never have become clinically apparent.5 The board therefore recommended that no new systematic mammography screening programs be introduced and that a time limit be placed on existing programs. In addition, it stipulated that the quality of all forms of mammography screening should be evaluated and that clear and balanced information should be provided to women regarding the benefits and harms of screening.
Stéphane Horel and Brian Bienkowski, “Special report: Scientists critical of EU chemical policy have industry ties,” Environmental Health News, 23 September 2013
Seventeen scientists who have criticized plans in Europe to regulate endocrine-disrupting chemicals have past or current ties to regulated industries. An investigation by Environmental Health News reveals that of 18 toxicology journal editors who signed a controversial editorial, 17 have collaborated with the chemical, pharmaceutical, cosmetic, tobacco, pesticide or biotechnology industries. Some have received research funds from industry associations, while some have served as industry consultants or advisors. The stakes are high in the controversy because it involves the European Union’s strategy to regulate hormone-altering chemicals – the first attempt in the world to do so. The new rules would have sweeping, global ramifications because all companies that sell a variety of products in Europe would have to comply.