The No More Breast Cancer campaign believes that many cases of breast cancer are linked to cancer-causing agents in the environment and in our bodies.
- In the environment – cancer-causing chemicals are present in detergents, pesticides and plastics approved for everyday use by government. Of around 100,000 man-made chemicals polluting our environment , there are more than 500 man-made chemicals that are thought to disrupt the hormones in the body  and mimic the role of oestrogen – a hormone closely linked with the development of breast cancer.
- In our bodies – over 400  man-made chemicals have been found in human blood and body tissue. Cancer-causing substances and hormone-disrupting chemicals are included in this ‘toxic burden’. 
NMBC believes that lifelong, low-level exposure to the cocktail of toxins and hormone disruptors both at home and at work is linked to the ever-rising rates of breast cancer.
Facts about breast cancerLatest government figures  indicate that the incidence of breast cancer in the UK has risen 80 per cent in the past 30 years. 
- Breast cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in women under 35. 
- The lifetime risk of being diagnosed with breast cancer in women is 1 in 9. 
- 12,400 women die every year from breast cancer. 
- 42,000 women and 300 men are diagnosed every year. 
- In women aged 35-54 years, breast cancer is the most common cause of all deaths, accounting for 17% of all deaths. 
What of the other 50 per cent? A substantial number of animal, human, laboratory and field studies carried out over the past seven decades  provide significant evidence that man-made environmental agents play a part in human diseases such as breast cancer. We believe it’s time for the government, industry and the cancer establishment as a whole to address the environmental risk factors for this disease.
About the No More Breast Cancer campaign
While there are, rightly, considerable resources dedicated to screening and treatment, there is very little attention or funding given to the ‘environmental’ part of the breast-cancer jigsaw puzzle.
- We believe that to prevent many cases from happening in the first place, and to stop the quickening pace of new diagnoses, we have to ask: what is the cause of one in every two cases where the accepted risk factors don’t apply?
- We want to look at the role of pollutants such as pesticides and chemicals, and to ensure that those that are part of our toxic burden are reduced, modified or eliminated from the environment – providing meaningful prevention of the disease at source.
- Chemicals, pesticides and other pollutants could lie at the heart of understanding why the incidence of breast cancer continues to rise at epidemic rates. Until all key players acknowledge this, it is a part of the prevention debate that we ignore at our peril.
The No More Breast Cancer campaign calls for:
- government, industry and the mainstream cancer establishment to acknowledge that 'lifestyle factors' (lack of exercise, smoking, alcohol) and 'established risk factors' (obesity, age, late-onset menopause, late first pregnancy) do not adequately account for the alarming rise in breast cancer rates
- acknowledgement that low-level, life-long exposure to a toxic cocktail of cancer-causing chemicals and hormone disruptors in our everyday environment is linked to the rising incidence of this disease
- a strategic plan to reduce our exposure to environmental pollutants that prioritises primary prevention – not just early detection – of the disease
- a national programme to establish which chemical pollutants are in breast tissue, and breast milk (while supporting breast-feeding), and to monitor their health effects
- research into the long-term health of people who minimise their own chemical exposures, for example by eating an exclusively organic diet
- investment in developing more green technologies that offer alternatives to our current dependency on toxic chemicals found in everyday products.
- Royal Commission on Environmental Pollution, 24th Report, Chemicals in products – safeguarding the environment and health, page 62, June 2003 www.rcep.org.uk
- European Commission, Communication From The Commission To The Council And The European Parliament on the implementation of the Community Strategy for Endocrine Disrupters - a range of substances suspected of interfering with the hormone systems of humans and wildlife, COM (2001) 262, last update: 06/14/2006 http://ec.europa.eu/environment/docum/01262_en.htm accessed 4th October 2006; Newby, J A and Howard, C V, Environmental influences in cancer aetiology, Journal of Nutritional & Environmental Medicine, Vol 15, 2-3, pages 56-114, 2005; The Prague Declaration on Endocrine Disruption www.edenresearch.info/declaration.html accessed 5th October 2006.
- Environmental Working Group, BodyBurden, the pollution in newborns, a benchmark investigation of industrial chemicals, pollutants and pesticides in umbilical cord blood, July 2005; Environmental Working Group, Across generations: mothers and daughters, May 2006, www.ewg.org; United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Third National Report on Human Exposure to Environmental Chemicals, July 2005 [tested for 148 chemicals in blood and urine].
- Ibid; Pesticide Action Network UK, The List of Lists, page 5, Pesticides and cancer [lists compiled from data of US Environmental Protection Agency Office of Pesticide Programs List of Chemicals Evaluated for Carcinogenic Potential; European Union/Commission; International Agency for Research on Cancer, Overall Evaluations of Carcinogenicity to Humans, last update July 2004].
- Office for National Statistics, Cancer Trends in England and Wales 1950-1999, Cancer Trends Updates www.statistics.gov.uk/statbase/Product.asp?vlnk=4822 accessed 5th October 2006.
- Cancer Research UK website info.cancerresearchuk.org/cancerstats/types/breast/incidence/ accessed 17th October 2006.
- Ref Cancer Research UK website info.cancerresearchuk.org:8000/cancerstats/types/breast/incidence/ accessed 17th October 2006.
- Cancer Research UK, UK breast cancer statistics info.cancerresearchuk.org/cancerstats/types/breast/ accessed 4th October 2006.
- Cancer Research UK website: www.cancerhelp.org.uk/help/default.asp?page=3270 accessed 17th October 2006.
- Cancer Research UK website: info.cancerresearchuk.org:8000/cancerstats/types/breast/mortality/
- Madigan et al., Proportion of Breast Cancer Cases in the United States Explained by Well-Established Risk Factors Journal of the National Cancer Institute vol. 87, pp. 1681-1685, 1987; Rockhill et al., Population Attributable Fraction Estimation for Established Breast Cancer Risk Factors: Considering the Issues of High Prevalence and Unmodifiability, American Journal of Epidemiology., vol. 147, pp. 826-833, 1998; Lichtenstein, Paul, et al, Environmental and heritable factors in the causation of cancer: analyses of cohorts of twins from Sweden, Denmark, and Finland, New England Journal of Medicine, Vol. 343, pp. 78-85, July 13, 2000.
- International Agency for Research on Cancer, IARC Monographs on the Evaluation of Carcinogenic Risks to Humans monographs.iarc.fr/ENG/Preamble/currenta1background0706.php accessed 4th October 2006; Extension Toxicology Network (EXTOXNET), Toxicology Information Briefs, A Pesticide Information Project of Cooperative Extension Offices of Cornell University, Oregon State University, the University of Idaho, and the University of California at Davis and the Institute for Environmental Toxicology, Michigan State University, Risk Assessment Background, revised September 1993; Cornell University, Program on Breast Cancer and Environmental Risk Factors, envirocancer.cornell.edu
contact us | about us | a campaign of Breast Cancer UK reg. charity number: 1138866 in England & Wales; reg. company number: 7348408|
Reg. address: Breast Cancer UK Ltd, Solva, Southwick Road, Denmead, Waterlooville, Hants. PO7 6LA UK | last updated: 17/10/2006