Overview

More than 30 years after the launch of the breast cancer awareness movement and the introduction of the pink ribbon, breast cancer remains a public health crisis and a social justice issue. However, the mainstream breast cancer movement remains squarely focused on pink ribbons, “awareness” campaigns, and mammography screening. This focus fails to address the systemic issues at the heart of this epidemic, instead emphasizing individual risk and individual solutions. But individual action alone, whether in terms of lifestyle or behavioral choices, is not sufficient to tackle the root causes of the breast cancer crisis.

Among the endless sea of lucrative breast cancer charities, corporate donors, and pharmaceutical-funded research agendas, the independent voice that defines Breast Cancer Action has never been more urgently needed, and our relevance as an activist watchdog organization is greater than ever. At BCAction, we focus on systemic interventions that will address the root causes of the disease and produce broad public health benefits. These benefits will ensure that fewer people develop breast cancer and die from breast cancer, and no community bears a disproportionate burden of diagnosis or death from this disease.

Mission

Breast Cancer Action’s mission is achieve health justice for all people at risk of and living with breast cancer by focusing on systemic interventions, which includes policies, institutions, and practices, and by centering people with the furthest relationships to power.

Vision

We envision a world in which people and communities thrive because they are healthy, liberated, and free from breast cancer.

Values

We Value:

  • People’s health and wellbeing, not corporate profit
  • Integrity and freedom from conflict of interest
  • Transparency and accountability from ourselves and others
  • Uplifting and centering diverse voices and lived experiences
  • Honesty, fearlessness, and truth-telling about the breast cancer crisis
  • Collective action and cross-movement work that changes the world for the better
  • Health justice as a human right
  • Action over awareness
  • Partnering with integrity, purpose, and passion
  • Being critical consumers of inclusive science

Breast Cancer Action's illustrated Mission, Vision, and Values

Breast Cancer Action’s Mission Vision and Values illustrated by Laura Chow Reeve.

Our Commitment to Social Justice

Breast Cancer Action recognizes that the breast cancer epidemic is a social justice issue. Breast cancer is a widespread health crisis that predominantly effects women in a male-dominated and profit-driven society, and addressing and ending the breast cancer epidemic requires profound changes at every level of our society.

In mainstream U.S. culture, breasts are linked to femininity, sexuality, and attractiveness. As a result, breast cancer is a highly sexualized and gendered disease. As a health justice organization with roots in the women’s health movement, we challenge the narrow definitions of femininity, womanhood, and sexuality that mainstream narratives about breast cancer impose on people at risk of and living with the disease. We recognize and honor the many ways people express their gender identity, including outside of the either/or of man/woman. We work to challenge mainstream assumptions about gender and sexuality as it relates to breast cancer risk, diagnosis, and treatment in order to make room for people of all gender identities in the breast cancer movement.

In our work for health justice, we strive to practice principled allyship by using the power and privilege we hold as an organization to build solidarity with communities who currently and/or traditionally have had less access to power, information, and resources.

The current breast cancer epidemic impacts communities unequally and leads to unacceptable differences in who develops breast cancer and when it develops, who gets high quality and timely treatment, and who dies from breast cancer. In order to address and end the breast cancer epidemic, we must tackle the root causes of these health inequalities, which are the result of a complex interplay of culture, power, economics, racism, and sexism.

Achieving health justice requires that each of us be free from oppressions that prevent all of us from living healthy lives in healthy communities. We believe that no single injustice can be effectively addressed in isolation, and we recognize that injustices in our society reinforce each other in many ways and at many levels.

Our Commitment to Being the Watchdog

We will work tirelessly and fearlessly to address and end the current breast cancer epidemic:

  • Until no community bears a disproportionate burden of the disease
  • Until fewer people are exposed to toxins that increase their risk of breast cancer
  • Until everyone affected by breast cancer has access to unbiased information about the disease
  •  Until quality healthcare, and more effective and less toxic breast cancer treatments, are available and accessible to all who need it
  •  Until fewer people experience the harms of overdiagnosis and overtreatment
  •  Until people everywhere have access to the resources and opportunities they need so they can fully engage in decisions about their healthcare and overall well-being according to their values and priorities
  •  Until people’s health comes before corporate profits
  •  Until fewer people develop and/or die from this disease in the first place.

How We’re Different

WHAT'S NEXT

Social Justice
Breast cancer is a widespread health crisis that predominantly effects women in a male-dominated and profit-driven society, and addressing and ending the breast cancer epidemic requires profound changes at every level of our society. READ MORE

Theory of Change and Watchdog Work
We focus on systemic interventions that will address the root causes of the disease and produce broad public health benefits. Read More

History and Accomplishments
Rooted in activism, Breast Cancer Action continues to hold the breast cancer industry accountable. READ MORE