You, Your Environment and Your Breast Health
Updated: Apr 23
Yesterday, Thursday, April 22nd marked the 51st anniversary of Earth Day. What started in 1970 with over 20 million Americans calling for action to protect our planet has grown into the worldwide celebration we know today, with over 1 billion people in more than 190 countries celebrating our planet and highlighting the work that needs to be done to protect it.
The invention of the automobile and increase in industry resulted in Americans consuming vast amounts of leaded gas, smoke, sludge and polluted air–no thought was given to how a polluted environment threatens human health. The release of Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring in 1962 raised public awareness and concern for the environment, pollution and its link to public health.
How does this relate to breast cancer? We all know the sobering fact that about 12%, or 1 in 8, women in the United States will develop breast cancer during their lifetime, and although scientists have identified many of the risk factors that increase a woman’s chance of developing breast cancer, there is still very little knowledge about what causes normal cells to become cancerous. Most experts agree that breast cancer is caused by a combination of genetic, hormonal and environmental factors. In fact, evidence cited in a 2017 study from The National Center for Biotechnology Information reinforces the conclusion that exposure to a wide variety of toxins–many of which are found in things we eat, drink, touch or breathe–can lead to an increased risk for the development of breast cancer.
So where are we now? A deeper appreciation of how the environment affects breast health and the importance of research in this area, combined with a society that is increasingly more concerned with overall health and wellbeing, has thankfully led to more studies, such as The Sister Study, and people taking a more active stance in what they expose themselves to in their environments.
Read on to learn more about advances in research, studies and steps you can take to protect not only our environment, but yourself and your loved ones.
The National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences plays a leadership role in funding and conducting studies on the ways in which environmental exposures increase breast cancer risk. Identifying and reducing contact with environmental factors linked to breast cancer presents tremendous opportunity to prevent this disease. Read More.
We love our planet, right? So, protecting it seems like a no brainer. Breast Cancer Prevention Partners has put together some easy ways to help you go green and keep the planet clean. Since we have no planet B, let’s make a difference and care for the one we have. Read More.
In order to truly lift the burden of breast cancer, the important contribution of environmental chemicals to the development of the disease must be an integral part of cancer prevention strategies. Read More.
This review examines the continually expanding and increasingly compelling data linking radiation and various chemicals in our environment to the current high incidence of breast cancer. Read More.