For a disease that affects so many women, both directly and indirectly, it’s fair to say that the issue of how environmental and occupational exposures impact on the disease is shockingly absent. No surprise when you realise how many ‘barriers’ stand in the way of this vital part of the story getting out – barriers that impede primary prevention, in other words, stopping the disease before its start.
One of the biggest ‘barriers’ to try and clamber over is the ‘pink’ takeover of the disease – not least the way in which fundraising has become the predominant ‘pink-driven’ focus for the public. Fundraising is good – but not when it displaces other, equally vital elements of the debate.
One of the key areas of our campaign, is to promote the inclusion of ‘barriers to primary prevention’ in the breast cancer debate.
Once you start to get the ‘barriers’ picture, you are starting to join up the dots – and understand how the wider system effectively closes down the environmental and occupational story…There are a number of attitudes, mind-sets and misconceptions standing in the way of a primary prevention focus on breast cancer.
These include acceptance that breast cancer is inevitable; confusion that early detection is prevention, when it is not; a fixation on treatment and control; ignorance of the wider issue of primary prevention and the role of the media in perpetuating this, where a narrow focus on lifestyle – like a narrow focus on genetic mechanisms– obscures cancer’s environmental and occupational roots; procrastination where ‘more research’ is the standard response to calls for prevention policies; the invisibility factor, as, sadly, we cannot see many of the chemicals that are hazardous to our health; fear – fear of cancer feeds our resistance both to learning and even thinking about the disease. Finally, vested interests and the status quo – there is no profit in prevention. The disease of cancer has spawned a major world industry which, to, date has proven a major barrier to the debate about environmental and occupational links to breast cancer getting out.
Combined, these barriers prove to be a powerful means by which to marginalise those who have – over decades – argued for the inclusion of environmental and occupational links to breast cancer. This needs to stop.
Welcome to our new breast cancer campaign FROM PINK to PREVENTION where we expose the barriers to gaining serious attention for ‘primary prevention’ as an attainable goal for breast cancer, on the basis of more than half a century of scientific evidence.
Central to our campaign is one big fundamental question which we will use in challenging all those individuals, organisations and institutions with the power to make or to influence decisions affecting public and occupational health in general and breast cancer incidence in particular.
We will be asking government, the chemicals industry, public health agencies, cancer charities, the cancer establishment, cancer and science research bodies, the breast cancer industry, big pharma, trade unions, and the entire corporate pink-driven industry to explain to all women who have had, who now have and who will have breast cancer:
WHY they persist in refusing to acknowledge the role of environmental and occupational toxicants and other factors of influence such as shift work, in breast cancer and
WHY they persist in ignoring decades of scientific evidence up to the present day – from organisations such as World Health Organisation (WHO) and the European Union (EU) and many other respected scientific bodies – on which the link between our lifelong (womb to grave) exposures to toxic chemicals and substances and the escalating incidence of breast cancer, among many other diseases, is based?
We believe that it is by asking the one big fundamental question and by revealing the barriers to the advancement of breast cancer prevention policies and strategies (and many other diseases with proven links to environmental and occupational toxins), that we can help to build public awareness and support for the knowledge-based, people-before-profit, ethically sound and beneficial to people and environment changes we urgently need to see enacted from those with power and position to make them happen.
We welcome your interest and support for the work we are doing and we invite you use and to share any material on the website in accordance with the Creative Commons licence conditions on our home page.
On the 29th June 2013, From Pink to Prevention organised a toxic tour in Central London. The tour took in various sites of significance in relation to cancer prevention – or rather the lack of action on cancer prevention by government offices and other bodies.
At each venue speakers addressed various aspects in relation to the total lack of action on the part of governments and the cancer establishment on the issue of the primary prevention of cancer (ie stopping it before it starts). They discussed their work on the issue and posted up Blue Plaques announcing ‘Cancer Prevention does not live here’ at each site to commemorate the visit.
Continue reading Event: Cancer Prevention – A Toxic Tour (29 June 2013)