By Jayla Burton, Program Officer
We’re in the news! Breast Cancer Action was featured in the recent Op-Ed “The National Cancer Institute needs to publish information about chemical exposure and cancer risk” by esteemed scientists Linda S. Birnbaum, PhD, and Margaret L. Kripke, PhD.
The authors were inspired and spurred to action by our work in our Think Before You Pink®: We Can’t Be Pink’d campaign this past October directed at the National Cancer Institute (NCI). In this campaign, you joined us in calling out the NCI agency for their lack of information on environmental risk factors associated with breast cancer.
In the Op-Ed, Dr. Linda Birnbaum, Scientist Emeritus and former Director of the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) and Dr. Margaret Kripke, former member of the President’s Cancer Panel write “We join Breast Cancer Action and more than 100 leading scientists, cancer specialists, health and justice organizations, and breast cancer advocates in calling on the NCI to share the information on chemical links to breast cancer. Drawing on our experience and expertise, we believe NCI sharing this research would re-shape our national approach to prevention-oriented public health policy for breast cancer and beyond.”
The best part? The NCI listened! They have agreed to review and change their patient prevention webpage. This couldn’t have been done without your support and activism! Hundreds of our members sent letters to the National Cancer Institute and demanded that they take these crucial steps to improve breast cancer prevention. You raised your voice and helped make real change.
This is great news, but our work doesn’t stop there. The agency only responded to one of our five requests — In addition to adding more information on the patient prevention webpage, we call upon the agency to diversify their editorial board to include toxicologists and environmental epidemiologists, update their approach to analyzing environmental risks, broaden the sources of information they use in their reviews, and meet with breast cancer advocates and researchers to develop an action plan to implement these solutions.
Let’s keep up the momentum, it’s not too late to take action! Add your name to our latest action urging the NCI to respond to all five action items that will ensure environmental exposures remain a priority in breast cancer prevention.
We are proud to lead the effort asking the NCI to publish information on chemical exposures linked to breast cancer, and to continually push for the most accurate and up-to-date information to be made available on behalf of people living with and at risk of breast cancer.