Environmental Aspects

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Breast Cancer and the Environment: A Life Course Approach by (Institute of Medicine, 2011) — A consensus report sponsored by Susan G. Komen for the Cure examines the existing literature about breast cancer risk posed by various environmental factors, highlights actions that offer potential to reduce risk, and recommends key areas for future research. Overall, the Institute of Medicine finds that major advances have been made in understanding breast cancer and its risk factors, but more needs to be learned about its causes and how to prevent it. The report urges a life-course approach to studying breast cancer because new information suggests that women and girls might be more susceptible to some risk factors during certain life stages. Breast–Cancer–History-Environmental Aspects Read BCC Review » 


Breasts — A Natural and Unnatural History by Florence Williams (W.W.Norton & Co., 2012) –  Feted and fetishized, the breast is an evolutionary masterpiece. But in the modern world, the breast is changing. Breasts are getting bigger, arriving earlier, and attracting new chemicals. Increasingly, the odds are stacked against us in the struggle with breast cancer, even among men. Science reporter Florence Williams sets out to uncover the latest scientific findings from the fields of anthropology, biology, and medicine. Her investigation follows the life cycle of the breast from puberty to pregnancy to menopause, taking her from a plastic surgeon’s office where she learns about cup size in Texas to the laboratory where she discovers environmental toxins in her own breast milk. The result is an exploration of where breasts came from, where they ended up, and what we can do to save them. Breast–Cancer–History-Environmental Aspects Read BCC Review »


From Pink to Green: Disease Prevention and the Environmental Breast Cancer Movement by Barbara Ley (Rutgers University Press, 2009) – From the early 1980s, the U.S. environmental breast cancer movement has championed the goal of eradicating the disease by emphasizing the importance of reducing—even eliminating—exposure to chemicals and toxins. This book chronicles the movement’s disease prevention philosophy from the beginning. Challenging the broader culture of pink ribbon symbolism and “awareness” campaigns, this movement has grown from a handful of community-based organizations into a national entity, shaping the cultural, political, and public health landscape. They demand that the public play a role in scientific, policy, and public health decision-making to build a new framework of breast cancer prevention. Breast–Cancer–History-Environmental Aspects Read BCC Review »


Living Downstream: An Ecologist’s Personal Investigation of Cancer and the Environment by Sandra Steingraber (Da Capo Press, 2010) – The first edition of Living Downstream—an exquisite blend of precise science and engaging narrative—set a new standard for scientific writing. Poet, biologist, and cancer survivor, Steingraber uses all three kinds of experience to investigate the links between cancer and environmental toxins.The updated science in this exciting new edition strengthens the case for banning poisons now pervasive in our air, our food, and our bodies. Because synthetic chemicals linked to cancer come mostly from petroleum and coal, Steingraber shows that investing in green energy also helps prevent cancer. Saving the planet becomes a matter of saving ourselves and an issue of human rights. A documentary film based on the book will coincide with publication. Breast–Cancer–Environmental Aspects


No Family History by Sabrina McCormick (Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, 2009) – No Family History presents compelling evidence of environmental links to breast cancer, ranging from everyday cosmetics to industrial waste. Sabrina McCormick weaves the story of one survivor with no family history into a powerful exploration of the big business of breast cancer. As drugs, pink products, and corporate sponsorships generate enormous revenue to find a cure, a growing number of experts argue that we should instead increase focus on prevention–reducing environmental exposures that have contributed to the sharp increase of breast cancer rates. This book asks crucial questions about who profits from causing, detecting, and treating cancer, and why the search for the cure takes precedence over prevention. Breast–Cancer–Environmental Aspects


State of the Evidence: The Connection Between Breast Cancer and the Environment by Janet Gray (ed.), The Breast Cancer Fund, 2010) – This report examines scientific evidence linking exposures to environmental chemicals and radiation with increased breast cancer risk. It identifies a substantial body of evidence that exposures to radiation and common chemicals (in consumer products, cosmetics, canned food, and more), singly and in combination, contribute to higher incidences of breast cancer. The report addresses the need to take into account the different times in a person’s life when particular factors may exert stronger effects in influencing later development of disease. It concludes with an exploration of the policy initiatives required to make breast cancer prevention a public health priority, and advice on what individuals can do to reduce their risk. Breast–Cancer–Environmental Aspects Download PDF »


The Falling Age of Puberty in U.S. Girls: What We Know; What We Need to Know by Sandra Steingraber, PhD (The Breast Cancer Fund, 2007) – Studies have revealed that girls as young as two are entering puberty. When puberty arrives earlier the window of exposure to estrogen opens wider and increases a girl’s risk of getting breast cancer later in life. In the first comprehensive review of the scientific literature on the timing of puberty—Steingraber explores this time of development and outlines nutritional, psychosocial and environmental factors that contribute to its timing as well as actions we can take to change this trend. Breast–Cancer–Environmental Aspects Download PDF »


The Secret History of the War on Cancer by Devra Davis (Basic Books, 2009) – Why has the “War on Cancer” languished, focusing mainly on finding and treating the disease and downplaying the need to control and combat cancer’s basic causes—tobacco, the workplace, radiation, and the general environment? As epidemiologist Devra Davis shows in this superbly researched exposÉ, the War on Cancer has followed the commercial interests of industries that generated a host of cancer-causing materials and products. In short, the war has targeted the wrong enemies with the wrong weapons, failing to address known cancer causes. Davis tells the gripping story of a major public health effort diverted and distorted for private gain that is being reclaimed through efforts to green health care and the environment. Cancer–Environmental Aspects


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