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October: Breast Cancer Prevention Month Toolkit

As we find ourselves mid-way through the global fundraising phenomena that is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, we ask ‘are environmental and occupational links to the disease an elephant in the room?’

From Pink to Prevention has produced an online ‘tool-kit’ to help the wider public understand the nature of the problem we are facing – both in terms of the links between environmental and occupational risk factors as well as the inaction of those with the power to address it. It includes an interactive webpage, PDF and poster which brings together some of the leading experts, writers and campaigners from across Europe (Belgium, France, Germany, UK), USA, Canada, Australia and the Philippines. Please share the toolkit!

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October event: Inviting you to the book launch of So Much to Be Done.

From Pink to Prevention supported by Unison, the Alliance for Cancer Prevention and the Breast Cancer Consortium are very pleased to invite you to the launch of So Much to Be Done, a book of writing by the late Barbara Brenner, with readings by her partner of 38 years Susie Lampert. The London event is part of a series of events across the UK and the EU.

Barbara was an influential writer, activist and campaigner. She spent 15 years as the director of the organisation Breast Cancer Action based in San Francisco. Her passionate, insightful and challenging commentary on the commodified world of the pink ribbon and the resulting ‘pinkwashing’ of breast cancer changed the conversation around the issue forever.

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The Power of Words: Why a book from 1962 inspires our work today.

In the year 1962, Rachel Carson was not only another breast cancer statistic, but the woman whose writing skills and scientific acumen shocked the world upon publication of ‘Silent Spring’ in which her research findings of irreversible reproductive and genetic damage to aquatic-life forms resulting from the use of pesticides were presented in her signature narrative style. It is due to her ground-breaking contribution to our understanding of the ways in which manufactured chemicals can affect and alter the state of the environment and the life forms it sustains that we continue to honour Rachel Carson as the outstanding ‘citizen- scientist’ of the 20th century.

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Rachel Carson – in print, in film and why her legacy is of such scale

At the age of 56, after a lifetime of ‘joining up the dots’ between the natural world, the human species and the impact of chemicals on nature and ourselves, Rachel Carson died of breast cancer – and we can but wonder how much more campaigning impact she would have gone on to make, had she lived longer. She died just 2 years after the publication of her ground-breaking book Silent Spring.

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Blog: Meeting with Breast Cancer Now (BCN)

It was good for the From Pink to Prevention team to meet face to face finally, in February, with senior staff at Breast Cancer Now to discuss our concerns about BCN’s Risk Booklet.

BCN’s priority areas are to do with medical research linked to lifestyle factors – factors they can identify and act upon with speed and while we fully appreciate their remit, we made it clear that we very much want BCN to start to – incrementally at least to begin with – make significant progress on the referenced inclusion of environmental and occupational risks for breast cancer in their booklet. This is relevant to both BCN’s target 42% of women for whom lifestyle risk is their priority to address, as well as the remaining 58% , for many of whom the reason for getting the disease remains unknown.

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BLOG: A view from Tasmania

There has been a growing if not vague and disconnected awareness here of the presence of toxins in the environment but nothing either informative or educational forthcoming from key authorities like public health.

In my daily to-ing and fro-ing around medical sites, community centres and chemist shops I see in detail the vast range of health care and risk avoidance topics selected for public education – smoking, bike riders use of helmets, falls avoidance, balanced diet, alcohol and smoking risks to baby during pregnancy, recognition of stroke onset symptoms, promotion of cancer screening tests, eye care, relaxation therapies, ADHD in children, epilepsy management, diabetes, a noticeable increase in aged care and mental health categories plus numerous government and non -government sources of help for different addictions and conditions.

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