I first learned about Breast Cancer Action, a grassroots organization formed in the summer of 1990, from Barb Jarmoska, my friend and colleague in the health field. In her trip across the U.S. by bike to raise awareness about breast cancer, she told me about BCA. I made a small donation and now I am on their mailing list.
Eleanor Pred, a San Francisco Bay Area woman with breast cancer, had been seeking information about the causes and treatment of her disease. Angry at the unresponsiveness of government and other organizations that provided inadequate and superficial information about treatment for her breast cancer, in 1990 she formed Breast Cancer Action, a grassroots organization of breast cancer survivors and their suporters. Since Eleanor’s death in 1991, BCA has continued to grow, with more than 18,000 supporters across the country.
Here are two grim statistics from BCA’s website that describe the extent of this terrible disease:
1. In 2006, there were 265,603 cases of breast cancer diagnosed — that’s a new case diagnosed every two minutes
2. In 2006, 40,970 people died from breast cancer, one every
What I think is different about BCA and other cancer-oriented organizations is that BCA works with other organizations in an effort to encourage businesses to conduct themselves in ways that are environmentally safe. Toxins from major manufacturing companies might be one of their targets for making changes.
To find out more about BCA, go to their website: www.bcaction.org.
In addition, BCA has a campaign called: “THINK BEFORE YOU PINK” (www.thinkbeforeyoupink.org.) We are all familiar with “pink” companies that promote their products and claim to make large donations to cancer research. BCA investigates these “pinkwashers,” as they are called by BCA. The examples on their website are Ford, Mercedes Benz, and BMW, three companies with pink ribbon campaigns, urging consumers to buy their cars in the name of breast cancer,
while not acknowledging that car exhausts contain toxins that are linked to cancer.
This brings to mind my “beef” with McDonald’s, who strips the rain forests for their grazing grounds for their beef and deep fries their French fries (trans-fat free or not, deep frying is unhealthy), and then creates a Ronald McDonald House for children with life-threatening diseases, such as cancer, while they continue to serve life-threatening foods!
In a red flyer I recently received from BCA, their current program priorities were listed. Here are two that I feel are very important:
1. Advocate for policy changes that reduce exposures to toxic
chemicals that may increase the risk of breast cancer.
2. Inform consumers about companies using pink ribbon
marketing, while manufacturing products that may be linked
to breast cancer.
I would highly recommend your checking out the BCA
website and also the pink ribbon website. To reach BCA by email, send your message to: email@example.com. firstname.lastname@example.org They are located at 55 New Montgomery Street, Suite 323, San Francisco, CA, 94105. Their phone number is 415-243-9301.
Having lost three dear friends to breast cancer, I support BCAs efforts and look forward to their monthly newsletter (Also in
Spanish). I hope you will take the time to check out the work they are doing and become part of their grassroots campaign to eliminate environmental toxins that are linked to breast cancer.
Maybe “green” campaigns linked to global warming will replace “pink” campaigns that don’t address the problems pink companies are creating with their products. I saw a young woman in NYC wearing a T-shirt that said, “Green is the new Black.” Maybe we should be wearing T-shirts that say: “Green is the new Pink!”
(Another colorful leaf picture from my webmaster Shayne. Perhaps it’s no coincidence that BCA is a “grassroots” organization and I am featuring fall leaves and trees.)