Breast Cancer Awareness: Go Green to Really Go Pink


We’re surrounded by endocrine-disrupting compounds at every turn, not to mention countless pesticides and other environmental toxins. Could all this chemical crap have ties to rising rates of breast cancer in women around the world? In honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, the Breast Cancer Fund is highlighting its 2010 State of the Evidence report on how the disease is linked to all kinds of toxic substances, and you can’t afford not to read it.

A long string of recent studies cited in the report have linked breast cancer to everything from seemingly omnipresent BPA to air pollution. “Recent data demonstrate that early exposure to BPA leads to abnormalities in mammary tissue development that are observable even during gestation and are maintained into adulthood,” reads one sobering paragraph.

It’s easy to get lost in doom and gloom when the evidence is so overwhelming. For me, as someone who has struggled with hormone-related health problems associated with higher risk of cancer, the data can be downright frightening: who knew that sunscreen is often estrogenic?

Read the report. Get angry. Pass this information on to every woman you know. Then, take action. Don’t just go pink for a single month – go green for life. Your life. Ditch products packed with unpronounceable ingredients and go for natural alternatives. Stop consuming hormonally modified foods.

If you’re a regular Eco Chick reader, chances are you’re already doing a lot of positive things – in particular, reducing your exposure to toxic substances in personal care products and household products from cosmetics to cleaners. It can seem like an insurmountable challenge when you’re first starting out, but it gets easier – stick with it.

And there are plenty of other things you can do to lower your risk of developing breast cancer, even if you have a family history of the disease. The American Cancer Society recommends regular exercise, a healthy body weight and low consumption of alcoholic beverages as important ways to be proactive.

Want more tips? Check out the Breast Cancer Fund’s Twitter feed, which offers up simple ways to beat breast cancer in 140 characters or less.

Photo by Anthony Cain

Stephanie Rogers is a fashion- and beauty-obsessed freelance writer with an abiding love for kale and organic wine, living in Asheville, North Carolina.