I think we need to make this ribbon green.
According to a new study released this week by the Breast Cancer Fund and Breast Cancer Action, half of all breast cancer cases are caused by environmental exposures. A large-scale survey of recent breast cancer research revealed that only about half of cases can be explained by things like genetic susceptibility or lifestyle risk factors. The rest are a mystery.
Except they're not. Despite the chemical industry's vociferous statements to the contrary, numerous environmental contaminants have been linked to increased breast cancer risk.
From a story in today's Oakland Tribune:
Environmental risk factors include exposure to things like pesticides, plasticizers, and radiation from - of all things - early mammograms.
"You just can't blame it on lifestyle factors, like when you have children, or if you have children," said Nancy Evans, health science consultant for the Breast Cancer Fund and the report's principle author. "Half the cases are not explained by genetics or the so-called `known risk factors.' There's something else going on."
This year, over 200,000 women in the US will be diagnosed with breast cancer - one out of seven women will be diagnosed in her lifetime. That's triple the rate of breast cancer in the 1960's. Only one in ten cases of breast cancer occur in women with a genetic predisposition for the disease.
I applaud all the walks for the cure, rides for the cure, knits for the cure, and the noble efforts of cancer researchers. But it's high time this country gets serious about going green for prevention.