BCPP Diaries

Does Drinking Alcohol Increase Your Risk of Breast Cancer?

Does Drinking Alcohol Increase Your Risk of Breast Cancer?

I know, you don’t want me to say it. You enjoy wine with dinner. And those Happy Hour cocktails.Read More

Interview with BCPP Chief Scientist Dr. Sharima Rasanayagam by Volunteer Andrea Dannenberg 

I know, you don’t want me to say it. You enjoy wine with dinner. And those Happy Hour cocktails. I get it: drinking is a huge part of our culture. And maybe you’re someone who is drinking more during the pandemic. But, what’s the health cost? I sat down with BCPP’s Director of Science Dr. Sharima Rasanayagam to discuss drinking alcohol and breast cancer risk. Check out our short video where she explains why drinking increases breast cancer risk and how we can all reduce that risk. See full video transcript below.

See the full video transcript below. 

Our latest Factsheet summarizes the links between drinking alcohol and breast cancer risk. BCPP’s Paths to Prevention: The California Breast Cancer Primary Prevention Plan identifies alcohol consumption as one of 23 risk factors for developing breast cancer. When comparing drinkers to non-drinkers, studies found a 22% increased risk of breast cancer for those who drink. Another study estimated that 8% of breast cancer diagnoses are due to alcohol consumption. The research is also pretty clear that the more we drink, the greater our breast cancer risk. You can read more about the research in the Glossary of Exposures page on Alcohol. Here are some tips to consider to reduce breast cancer risk from alcohol for yourself and those you love.

Have One Less Drink

If I told you not to drink ever again, would you listen? Probably not, right? So instead, I’m going to suggest that you have one less drink. Maybe that means having one less drink tonight. Or maybe that means having one drink less over the course of this week or this month. Whatever that means for you, do it. Any reduction in alcohol consumption will reduce your breast cancer risk. 

young women drinking whiskey from bottles

Avoid Binge Drinking

Binge drinking (four or more drinks at one time) is common, especially among young people. Breast cancer risk is just one of the negative effects of binge drinking. Binge drinkers have a 29% higher risk of breast cancer compared to those who have low levels of drinking. So, when you choose to drink, please try to limit your consumption.

Be an Ally

We have all been at social gatherings where someone passes on a drink. How often do we hear people make a joke and reoffer or ask why they aren’t drinking? Maybe you’ve done it, too. “Oh, come on, just one drink!” Next time, be mindful that people don’t drink for many reasons—religion, health, personal or family history of addiction, etc. They don’t owe an explanation. Be supportive. Instead, if you’re hosting a social event, have plenty of non-alcoholic options available for your guests. Or consider not offering alcohol at all. A mocktail, juice, coffee or hot chocolate bar can still make an event feel special without the health risks. And, if you’re a guest, reconsider bringing alcohol to share.

Learn More

You can read more about the alcohol consumption and breast cancer risk on BCPP’s webpage on the topic. The folks at the Alcohol Research Group (ARG) of the Public Health Institute created an easy to understand website addressing this topic. You might also check out their posts on social media using #drinklessforyourbreasts. This page from the National Institute of Health also provides some tips on how to reduce your alcohol consumption.

Video Transcript

Andrea (00:02): Hello, we’re here today to talk about breast cancer risk and alcohol. My name is Andrea Dannenberg and I’m a volunteer with BCPP.

Sharima (00:11): Hi, Andrea and everybody out there. I’m Sharima Rasanayagam and I am the Director of Science at Breast Cancer Prevention Partners.

Andrea (00:19): So my first question for Sharima is a doozy. Does drinking alcohol cause breast cancer?

Sharima (00:27): All right. Well, for one thing, I never say that something causes breast cancer. I will say unfortunately, drinking alcohol does increase your risk of a breast cancer diagnosis. There’s a really large body of evidence and multiple studies showing that women who drink alcohol are more likely to be diagnosed with breast cancer than those who do not. And that the more you drink, the higher your risk. The good news is that any reduction in alcohol consumption reduces your risk of breast cancer. But as I say, the reason I don’t ever say that something causes breast cancer is that breast cancer is what we call a multifactorial disease. There’s no single thing that causes any cancer and a really important that nobody blamed themselves for their own cancer diagnosis. So there are lots of risk factors that add up that can result in a diagnosis, and these can include genetics and family history, diet and exercise, environment and environmental exposures linked to the disease. And then some of these are totally out of our control. Some we can make individual decisions about and some we need to work collectively to address, which is something that BCPP really focuses on.

Andrea (01:44): Great. Well, thank you for that explanation. That’s really helpful. Can you give us a very layman’s explanation of why drinking alcohol increases breast cancer risk?

Sharima (01:57): Well, so what we’ve seen is associations between drinking alcohol and, and increased rates of breast cancer. And a lot of research has gone into what might be these mechanisms. And there’s a few that have really come to the fore. First of all, when we drink alcohol, our body breaks it down into what’s called metabolites, and the main one is acid aldehyde. And that is actually a carcinogen, which is a chemical that is known to cause cancer. So it’s these toxic metabolites of alcohol are a real issue. The other thing specifically for the breast cancer is that drinking alcohol also increases a woman’s estrogen levels in their body. And we know that higher levels of estrogen have been linked to increased risk of breast cancer, particularly, estrogen receptor positive breast cancers. And then there’s, a little bit, there is some concern over folate levels because when you drink alcohol, it’s more difficult for your body to absorb folate from, from your diet, like leafy green vegetables and stuff. And there’s emerging evidence of that may also be linked to increased cancer risk.

Andrea (03:08): Wow. So that’s pretty complicated, but I’m glad that you could break it down for us into a little bit more understandable language. What can women do to reduce their alcohol-related breast cancer risk?

Sharima (03:21): Well, you can reduce your intake of alcohol. The less you drink and it’s been shown that the less you drink the lower your risk. There are emerging research looking at binge drinking and seeing that that might be even worse than, than regular drinking. But as much as you can do to minimize your intake of alcohol, that will decrease your alcohol-related risk of breast cancer and, and a bunch of other health effects.

Andrea (03:47): Okay. So knowing what you know about alcohol and breast cancer risk, do you drink alcohol?

Sharima (03:53): I do, but very occasionally. And I must admit since doing, since starting in this job and seeing the information on alcohol, I have really reduced my intake of alcohol. I do not drink now regularly or, or normally, but I still do have a glass of wine on a very special occasion.

Andrea (04:13): Great! Well, thank you so much for sharing your knowledge with us today and addressing this really important topic.

Sharima (04:19): Thank you, Andrea.


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Mother-son team reaches for the top

Mother-son team reaches for the top

Westlake cancer survivor shows what’s possible with 14,000-foot climb. Originally published on the Acorn April 15, 2021. Inspiration comes in many forms, and people who are faced with a life-threatening illness often see the world through a different lens.Read More

Westlake cancer survivor shows what’s possible with 14,000-foot climb

Originally published on the Acorn April 15, 2021 by John Loesing 

At the top of Mount Shasta, Climb Against the Odds climbers fly prayer flags in honor and memory of those affected by breast cancer and other diseases

Photo by Cobi Crumholtz: At the top of Mount Shasta, Climb Against the Odds climbers fly prayer flags in honor and memory of those affected by breast cancer and other diseases. 

Inspiration comes in many forms, and people who are faced with a life-threatening illness often see the world through a different lens.

Given not one, but two cancer diagnoses in the past four years, Westlake Village resident Sarah Reines became inspired to regain her health, push her body to the limit, and climb a tall mountain.

Reines, a resident of Westlake’s First Neighborhood for the past 20 years, received a lymphoma diagnosis in 2017 and a breast cancer diagnosis in 2019. She has treated both illnesses and today says she is “doing well.”

Reines tackled her breast cancer with chemotherapy, radiation and a mastectomy, and credits her recovery to a love for the outdoors and staying in shape through running, hiking and climbing.

She’s run five marathons, including the 2015 L.A. race, and more than two-dozen half-marathons, but her latest challenge will be something she’s never tried before: a summit attempt at Mt. Shasta, California’s second-tallest peak at 14,179 feet. (The less technically challenging Mt. Whitney is 14,505 feet.)

Sarah and Max Reines training for Climb Against the Odds 2021

Mother and son Sarah and Max Reines training for Climb Against the Odds

Reines, 48, will climb the northern California mountain with her 16-year-old son Max, an Agoura High School junior, the week of June 14. They’ll be part of a group of almost two-dozen cancer survivors and supporters who are climbing to raise funds and awareness for the nonprofit organization Breast Cancer Prevention Partners, founded in 1992.

The name of the June expedition is Climb Against the Odds. Reines’ goal is to raise $14,179 for the organization, one dollar for every foot of Shasta elevation.

Flags of honor

“I’ll be carrying Tibetan prayer flags to the top of the mountain, and each one will be inscribed with the name of someone who has survived cancer or was lost to cancer,” Reines said.

“In the Tibetan tradition, prayer flags fly from housetops, trees and mountain passes—wherever the wind can catch and carry their message of hope,” she said.

TRAINING— Max and Sarah Reines at Topatopa Peak April 10. Courtesy photo

TRAINING— Max and Sarah Reines at Topatopa Peak April 10.  

“Max and I will carry these flags, along with a flag to honor my stepdad, John, who died of cancer in 2017.”

Reines, a retired Amgen corporate communications employee, had initially wanted to climb Tanzania’s Mt. Kilimanjaro with her son, but then the breast cancer struck.

“Since my cancer diagnoses, it became unclear if we would be able to achieve that goal that we set out for ourselves,” she said.

As her condition improved, the mother and her son turned their sights instead to the rugged, snow-encrusted Mt. Shasta, and have been training regularly for their June expedition. Workouts feature treks in the local mountains including Boney, Saddle Mountain, Topatopa—and a final tuneup with a 40-pound backpack up the challenging slopes of 10,000- foot Mt. Baldy in Claremont prior to leaving for Shasta.

“This is the biggest thing we’ve ever done,” she said. “I’m really feeling good about how things are going, and I’m really hoping we’ll make it all the way up the top.”

The route on Mt. Shasta takes climbers to a pair of approach camps where they will learn technical skills with ropes, crampons and ice axes. Those who survive a middle-of-the-night summit push will find themselves standing on Shasta’s rocky summit peak sometime after sunrise, when the views turn glorious and emotions run high.

Son Max should be in shape and ready. He’s an avid track and cross country competitor for Agoura High School,

“I like to try new things, and for a long time Mom and I have wanted to climb a mountain together, so I’m excited for Shasta,” Max said.

“After a long year of being at home, it will be fun to have an adventure,” he said.

The two have been training together regularly.

“It’s already been just an awesome experience as we spend time together getting ready for this,” the mom said.

The rest of the Reines family, including Dan, the husband, and the couple’s two daughters—one a fourth-grader at White Oak Elementary School in Westlake and another a freshman at UC Santa Barbara—will wait behind in Shasta City near the base of the mountain while mother and son complete their climb.

It’s a family affair.

“Our family has been through a lot, but this climb gives us something wonderful to focus on now,” Sarah Reines said.

Historical precedence

Throughout the years, determined breast cancer survivors have tackled mountains around the globe in their quest to show that the disease can be beat. Mt. Whitney, Mt. Rainier, Mt. Kilimanjaro, even the Himalayas, have been their proving grounds.

Whether climbing a tall mountain or just taking part in a local hope-walk fundraiser, the message is the same: The women do it, they say, because they can. And also to inspire others.

In 1995, a group of 17 breast cancer survivors climbed Mt. Aconcagua in the Argentine Andes— the western hemisphere’s highest mountain at 22,835 feet— and raised some $2 million for Expedition Inspiration, a breast cancer research and awareness organization.

Six attempted the summit and three made it to the top.

The climb inspired a book and a television documentary.

Get in touch

Breast Cancer Prevention Partners is an organization dedicated to preventing breast cancer by eliminating exposure to toxic chemicals and radiation linked to the disease. To support Sarah and Max in their upcoming Climb Against the Odds, visit https://donate.bcpp.org/teamsarahandmax.

Reines said, “When I climb Mt. Shasta in June, I’ll do it in much the same way that I confronted my own breast cancer— one step at a time—drawing upon my courage as I face my fears.”

Support our Climbers!

Check out the full itinerary this year and support our climbers! Email events@bcpp.org with any questions. 


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The Acorn

BCPP Spring Bulletin 2021: News, updates, resources + more

BCPP Spring Bulletin 2021: News, updates, resources + more

Just as the springtime blooms are awakening, we too are excited to open up and share the latest BCPP news with you. With your support, we’ve already made big things happen for prevention in 2021!Read More

BCPP News Bulletin Spring 2021

Just as the springtime blooms are awakening, we too are excited to open up and share the latest BCPP news with you. With your support, we’ve already made big things happen for prevention in 2021! Check out the highlights below and please consider donating today to help us build on this incredible momentum.

NEW BILL: Banning PFAS in Food Packaging

PFAS ‘forever’ chemicals can be found in our food, food packaging, cookware, and many other consumer products. These chemicals are linked to serious health problems – including increased risk of cancers, COVID, endocrine disruption, and birth defects – and never break down in our bodies or the environment. That’s why BCPP is co-sponsoring a brand-new California bill, the Safer Food Packaging and Cookware Act (AB1200-Ting) to ban PFAS in food packaging and force the disclosure of toxic chemicals in cookware!

TAKE ACTION: Toxic PFAS in Burger King Wrappers

When used in grease-resistant food packaging, PFAS ‘forever’ chemicals easily move from food wrappers into our food and then pollute our bodies, water, soil, and air. There, they build up and cause serious health harm. We’re working with our partner, Safer Chemicals, Healthy Families, to call on Burger King to remove PFAS from their food wrappers. In the first week of action, 445 members of the BCPP community sent in letters to Burger King. Didn’t take action yet? Send your letter today!

Spring Gala Recap: Moving Prevention Forward, Virtually

Last month, we held our first ever virtual gala, March Forth, to celebrate and invigorate our movement to prevent breast cancer and create a healthier world for everyone. The evening was filled with amazing energy and featured outstanding entertainment, high-profile celebrity speakers, and leaders in environmental health and justice. Our community showed up virtually and came together strong, raising over $227,500 for prevention! See our blog for show highlights, the gala recording, and extended content from our speakers.

BCPP News Bulletin Spring 2021

New Biden Federal Policy Agenda

With a new president comes the need for a new federal policy agenda. So, BCPP developed and disseminated an extensive, 22-page agenda for the Biden Administration to reverse the rising incidence of breast cancer in the U.S. This clear set of solutions addresses the toxic chemical exposures Americans face every single day that are contributing to increasing rates of breast cancer and other diseases. Now, we’re in the midst of planning meetings with new agency heads and officials to distribute and advocate for our recommended Executive Orders, reversals of regulatory rollbacks, and new policies. Stay tuned!

Paths to Prevention: Race, Power, & Inequities

Each month we are highlighting key information from our Breast Cancer Primary Prevention Plan. We recently published our first fact sheet on Race, Power and Inequities. Keep an eye out for our upcoming virtual educational events on breast cancer risk factors and what we can do to promote prevention.

Supporter Spotlight: Sarah Reines

Meet Sarah Reines, a participant in 2021 Climb Against the Odds, longtime BCPP supporter, and cancer survivor. Sarah and her 16-year-old son, Max, will climb Mt. Shasta together this summer.

“I feel like one of my main lessons from this Climb Against the Odds is that I can push through fear and come out on the other side. I’ve spent a lot of time feeling afraid since my first cancer diagnosis three and a half years ago. Each time I have bloodwork or a scan, I spend a week worrying about what we are going to see. I’ve turned down a few opportunities because I was afraid that my cancer may come back, and I may not be well enough to realize the opportunity fully. No more. I’m not going to say there isn’t going to be any more fear, but I’m showing myself that I can keep going, despite the fear. I just need to keep breathing and do ‘it’ anyway.” 

Safe Cosmetics Webinars

Our very own expert, Janet Nudelman, Director of Program and Policy and Director of the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics, represented BCPP in two stellar virtual events this past quarter. First up was a Congressional Staff Briefing on the need for federally mandated fragrance and flavor ingredient disclosure in personal care and beauty products. Watch it here! The second was a really fun and informative presentation with City of Hope’s “Bench to Community Program” Salon Conversations discussing safe cosmetics and advocacy. Watch it here! 

 

Science Webinar

Join BCPP and AnticancerLifestyle for our webinar ‘Breast Cancer and the Environment: What We Know and What You Can Do.’ This webinar features Dr. Sharima Rasanayagam, Ph.D., BCPP’s Director of Science. You’ll learn about the link between environmental exposures and breast cancer, what we should be most concerned about from a scientific perspective, concrete steps we can take to reduce our exposures, and how we can work to make our communities and environment safer for all.

Legacy Giving

BCPP’s work to protect our loved ones and the planet from toxic chemicals linked to breast cancer is of vital importance, now and for future generations. Making a planned gift is a powerful way to make a lasting impact and legacy with us that won’t cost you anything today. We hope you will join those who have planned for their future (and ours!) by including BCPP in their will, trust, or beneficiary designations. Writing a will is one of the most important steps you can take to protect what matters most to you.

Partner Spotlight: Innersense Organic Beauty

Innersense Organic Beauty has partnered with BCPP for the past several years, including an advocacy trip to Sacramento, where their CEO, Joanne Starkman, made office visits and pledged support for the Cosmetic Fragrance and Flavor Ingredient Right to Know Act of 2019. Once that bill was passed (hurray!), Innersense Organic Beauty didn’t stop there! From supporting BCPP’s mission through product donations to sponsorship, the team made their largest commitment yet, supporting 7 employees from various states to climb in BCPP’s annual Climb Against the Odds on Mt. Shasta. Not only does this company rally support for BCPP at the Capitol, but they’re also doing it from one of CA’s highest peaks!

What makes them great: Innersense Organic Beauty promises clean chemistry, radical transparency, and a commitment to the environment. Founders Greg and Joanne Starkman commit to professional quality haircare products with safe ingredients validated by the app Think Dirty, while seeking to inform beauty professionals and consumers on the importance of non-toxic haircare.

SPECIAL APRIL OFFER FOR YOU!

Use code BCPPHAIRLOVE to save 15% at www.innersensebeauty.com. This code is good for one use through May 6, 2021!

The journey never pauses for those seeking to create change. Thank you for walking by our side into 2021 – into the next decade of breast cancer prevention.  All of us at BCPP deeply value and appreciate your support and commitment to our work!

P.S. Did you miss these blogs? Why Breast Cancer Prevention Matters, Honoring BCPP Heroine Mary Ann Castimore, 3 Tips for Reducing Your Risk in 2021


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Salon Conversations: Safe Cosmetics Advocacy with Janet Nudelman

Salon Conversations: Safe Cosmetics Advocacy with Janet Nudelman

In this episode of Salon Conversations by the Bench to Community research project, BCPP”s Janet Nudelman discussed safe cosmetics advocacy with host Tonya Fairley. Recorded March 23, 2021. Read More

BCPP’s Director of Program & Policy and Director of the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics Janet Nudelman was featured as a Guest Speaker on the Salon Conversations series

In this episode of Salon Conversations by the Bench to Community research project, BCPP”s Janet Nudelman discussed safe cosmetics advocacy with host Tonya Fairley. Recorded March 23, 2021. 

 

About Salon Conversations

Salon Conversations is a community forum where we bring awareness, educate, and provide actionable steps towards sustainable change on environmental exposures in personal care products and breast cancer risk. This forum is apart of the Bench to Community research project led by Dr. Dede Teteh and Dr. Lindsey Trevino. Join the conversation: https://is.gd/edcbreastcancer​​ For more information: bench2community@gmail.com.

About Janet

Janet Nudelman, MA directs program and policy activities and coordinates BCPP’s Campaign for Safe Cosmetics and Cans Not Cancer Campaign. She draws on 30 years of experience working in the social change arena as a political organizer and lobbyist on women’s health issues to create and oversee BCPP’s cutting edge policy initiatives and market-based campaigns. Previously, Janet served as Political Director at Credo Mobile (formerly Working Assets) and Legislative Assistant for Rep. Louise Slaughter (D-NY). She has a M.A. in Public Policy from George Washington University. 


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BCPP’s Spring Gala March Forth: Moving Prevention Forward, Virtually

BCPP’s Spring Gala March Forth: Moving Prevention Forward, Virtually

BCPP’s 2021 Spring Gala March Forth brought together the BCPP community in support of breast cancer prevention. Aiming to activate, inspire and engage guests virtually, the evening featured entertainment and high-profile, celebrity speakers in environmental health and justice. Check out this recap of our celebration of the new decade, new leadership, and our vision of prevention moving forward.Read More

BCPP’s 2021 Spring Gala March Forth brought together the BCPP community in support of breast cancer prevention. 

With your help, we surpassed our goal by raising $227,500 and reaching over 700 people from across the country on the night of the event! 

After years of policy rollbacks affecting the health of the country, BCPP’s work marches forward, emerging stronger than ever. Linking our business and advocacy partners, and others affected by breast cancer, BCPP is leading the coalition towards a future where fewer people hear the words, “You have breast cancer.”  

Aiming to activate, inspire and engage guests virtually, the evening featured entertainment and high-profile, celebrity speakers in environmental health and justice.

Watch the edited video recording of our celebration of the new decade, new leadership, and our vision of prevention moving forward: 

 

Text BCPP to 24-365 to Give

BCPP premiered a new mission video at the event:

Featured Guest Speakers 

Dr. Linda Birnbaum  |  Former Director, NIEHS & NTP

Senator Cory Booker  |  U.S. Senator of New Jersey

Tiffany Coates  |  Director of Sales Earth Mama Organic

Meera Dasgupta  |  2020 National Youth Poet Laureate

Nourbese Flint  |  Policy Director, Black Women for Wellness

Dr. Rachel Morello-Frosch  |  Professor, UC Berkeley School of Public Health

Michelle Kalbearer | Co-Owner/Co-CEO, Klean Kanteen

Alyssa Milano  |  Actor and Activist

Alex Morgan  |  Olympic Gold Medalist

Vanessa Richards  |  Artist & Facilitator, Creative Together

Wesley Schultz  |  Guitarist and Lead Vocalist, The Lumineers

Congresswoman Jackie Speier  |  U.S. Representative (D-CA 14th District)

Joanne Starkman | Co-Founder and Owner, Innersense Organic Beauty

Extended Cuts

Watch the extended, full-length versions of interviews with select guest speakers. See our full Youtube playlist of clips from March Forth.

Interview with Alex Morgan, Olympic Gold Medalist, and CEO/Founder of Sprout San Francisco and BCPP Board Member Suzanne Price:

Interview with actor and activist Alyssa Milano on clean beauty and how she’s using her voice for breast cancer prevention by BCPP’s Janet Nudelman, Director of Program & Policy and the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics:

Nourbese Flint, Policy Director of Black Women for Wellness, speaks on beauty standards, racism, and how she’s working to pass policies to make a difference for black women’s health:

Text BCPP to 24-365 to Give

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Chat Highlights

So honored to be here tonight. Thank you for all you are doing to better the world. – Ruth Rosenthal​

Today my colleague told me her mother was diagnosed with stage 4. Let’s all help prevent this terrible disease. – Jen Jackson

BCPP: Thank you for doing such amazing work! – Bakty Motiram​

​Thank you everyone for coming!!!! already teared up for a sec!! – Mather Martin

Grateful for 4 years breast cancer free!! Science…. – Nancy Stephens

I love what is happening within BCPP – Mary Townes

Thanks to BCPP staff for all you do to make the products we use every day safer and healthier! – Joel Tickner ​

​Grateful to contribute to this group of leaders, world-changers, and friends – Julie Densmore

My contribution was small, but given with lots of love and in honor of my mom who died in 2011 of breast cancer. Let’s all work together with BCPP until breast cancer is a thing of the past. – Jen Jackson​

Senator Booker speaks for me!! – Abby Ginzberg​

Such a great evening! So fun! LOVE BCPP!!! – Michelle Kalberer, Klean Kanteen

What a spectacular evening!! Woot Woot!!! – Marcy Taylor

Brava to the BCPP for all the work you do every day to prevent breast cancer! Thank you! – Mary Gant​

This was amazing! Thank you to all involved and the BCPP team for all you do! – Jaclyn Lyman​

A very informative and inspirational event. Such an awesome cause! – Jessica Young​

​Thank you all so much for giving to this amazing organization!!! I’ve been donating for over 10 years and will never stop! – Marika Holmgren

​I’m proud and excited to support BCPP’s work to prevent breast cancer and advance health equity. This truly is a mission of love, as Senator Cory Booker so eloquently stated. – Kimberly Mulqueen

Thanks all for your support of BCPP. I’m so proud of all the great work that this organization does. – Sarah Janssen ​

What a list of achievements! – Beth Strachan​

So inspiring to see these results! – Ann Luk​

Amazing achievements, BCPP! Thank you! – Women Uninterrupted​

Thank you for all your great work! – Maricel Maffini

​Mather Martin is the reason I’m here and she did amazing on that intro. Thank goodness for Andrea Martin for bringing both BCPP and Mather into the world!! Awesome event everyone! – Anne Sciaino

Mather, I am so touched by your words! – Laura Fenster ​

Marika Holmgren, you have been through a battle, I will think of you and hope you continue to beat it. I’m happy to say I’m 1.5 yrs free and count my blessings every day. – Liz Szulczewski​

Aw thank you so much Laura! You are so inspirational and am so glad to have you in my life – Vivian Fan ​

Thank you everyone for your support for BCPP!!!! – Wanda Cole-Frieman​

​I wish we were all together but this is awesome!!! ​My tribe!!!! – Caroleigh Pierce

What a beautiful program! So much love! – Heather Sarantis

​ENDORPHINS ARE RAGING AFTER WESLEY’S PERFORMANCE!!! – Catherine Nasca

Great event!! – Julia Cooney​

Great time, great work, keep rocking BCPP!! – Amit Rosner, Clearya​

Thanks to our Event Committee & Table Hosts

The Believer: Betsy Gordon, Chris Pehl & Mark Headley

The Dreamer: Wanda & Karl Cole-Frieman, Julie Corbett, Laura Fenster & Jon Rosenberg, Rorrie Gregorio,  Ellen & Doug Kahn, The Mathieu Sevy Family, Kimberly Mulqueen, Mary Pomerantz, Lisa Stone Pritzker, Sideman & Bancroft LLP

The Designer: B. Braun Medical, Deloitte, Sarah Janssen, Joyce Lee, Susan Lowenberg, Marcy Taylor Pattinson

The Builder: Shoko Emily Abe, Jennifer Ayer, Lisa Bailey, Shelly Frieman, Bethany Hornthal, Marion Hunt, Susan Kutner, Mara Lowry, Sprout San Francisco, Nancy Stephens, Toby Rubin, Ingrid Tauber


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Why We Need Fragrance Ingredient Transparency: Congressional Staff Briefing

Why We Need Fragrance Ingredient Transparency: Congressional Staff Briefing

Learn why we need U.S. federally mandated fragrance ingredient transparency in this congressional staff briefing hosted by Breast Cancer Prevention Partners, the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics, and the American Sustainable Business Council.Read More

Virtual Congressional Briefing Zoom Recording February 18, 2021

Learn why we need U.S. federally mandated fragrance ingredient transparency in this congressional staff briefing hosted by Breast Cancer Prevention Partners, the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics, and the American Sustainable Business Council.

 

Speakers include:

  • Julie Froelicher, Senior Director, Global Product Stewardship, Procter & Gamble
  • Tiah Tomlin, Breast cancer survivor, Advocate & Organizer on Black women’s health
  • Dr. Robin Dodson, Research Scientist, Silent Spring Institute
  • Mia Davis, VP Sustainability and Impact, Credo Beauty
  • Janet Nudelman, Director of Program and Policy at Breast Cancer Prevention Partners & Director of the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics

Topics Covered:

  • Why 100’s of companies are voluntarily disclosing these “secret” ingredients and why fragrance and flavor disclosure is becoming the “new normal”
  • The science and the health impacts of hidden fragrance and flavor chemicals
  • How recently enacted California legislation requiring cosmetic fragrance & flavor ingredient disclosure relates to existing federal law, and what more must be done

This virtual briefing took place February 18, 2021.


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Give or get: clean Valentine’s Day gifts

Give or get: clean Valentine’s Day gifts

Spread the love! Fun Valentine’s gift ideas from BCPP’s partners. Treat someone special to a gift, or even better – yourself – this Valentine’s Day!Read More

Spread the love! Fun Valentine’s gift ideas from BCPP’s partners

 

Purchases support our prevention work

Love is in the air. Treat someone special to a gift, or even better – yourself – this Valentine’s Day! Our partners in prevention are bringing you safer products that value your health and the planet this V-Day and all year round. Check out the lovely products below!

Vibrant Body Company

Vibrant Body Company designs clean intimates: bras, tops and underwear. Always free from harmful toxics. Always wireless. Always silky-soft and supportive. Now through March 15, Vibrant Body Company will donate $20 for each bra sold and give you $10 off of our $69 price.

 

Please use code BCPP10 at checkout to redeem and of course feel free to tell a friend! Vibrant Body Company

Goodlight

At GoodLight Candles, our mission is to provide truly affordable clean-burning candles while contributing to positive change in the world. This Valentine’s Day, we are partnering with select retailers to offer two limited edition “Love” candles scented with our popular Fig Grapefruit blend.

 

We are contributing $1 from the sale of every Love apothecary jar candle and $0.50 from the sale of every Love tin, to BCPP. See where they’re sold near you!

NeuEve

The best part of Valentine’s Day is Valentine’s Night. Our all-natural OBGYN-approved intimate moisturizer makes “getting shot by Cupid’s Arrow” less painful and more pleasurable. How? By promoting natural self-lubrication with nutrients that nourish the intimate collagen and elastin.

 

We love and support BCPP’s mission, and we sponsor them as 1% for the Planet members.

Innersense

“Prevention is the most sustainable way to support women’s breast health. We must start by eliminating toxic exposure and encouraging self-care.” Joanne Starkman, Co-founder and President, Innersense. Show some self-love and self-care this Valentine’s Day and gift yourself Innersense Organic Beauty!

 

Innersense is proud to partner year-round with BCPP.

REMINDER: These products come from fabulous companies that financially support our efforts to prevent breast cancer, so purchases you make also support BCPP!

You can also donate directly to prevent breast cancer.


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Erika Wilhelm_BCPP

Why Breast Cancer Prevention Matters

Why Breast Cancer Prevention Matters

For me, February’s Breast Cancer Prevention Month is so much more important. It is critical. As a survivor, I don’t want any more women to suffer this disease.Read More

Post by BCPP Volunteer & Breast Cancer Survivor Andrea Dannenberg 

In 2021, I doubt there are many Americans who aren’t aware of “Pink October” aka “Breast Cancer Awareness Month.” The marketing for that annual event is amazing. I give corporate America and the organizations behind this annual event a lot of credit.

But as a breast cancer survivor, I must admit that it makes me cringe. I kind of dread it. It seemingly glamorizes an awful illness that is in no way pretty, pink or glamorous. At the same time, companies profit off us breast cancer patients and survivors: do we really know where those funds go and if they really are funding “awareness” or if “awareness” is really what needs funding? We all see it. So now let’s DO something already!

For me, February’s Breast Cancer Prevention Month is so much more important. It is critical. As a survivor, I don’t want any more women to suffer this disease. I made it through cancer treatment, but the side effects are lifelong. They aren’t easy. My life is forever changed by this diagnosis. I live with pain. My body is maimed. I live with constant fear that my cancer could return. Because, although early-stage breast cancer is treatable, there still is no cure for breast cancer. For some of us, it will return. In fact, more than 40,000 Americans die from breast cancer annually.

When I received my diagnosis 3 years ago, I spent countless hours wondering “Why me?” Like most breast cancer patients, I don’t have one of the genetic mutations associated with breast cancer risk. None of my relatives had breast cancer. I was in my 30s and fit—I led a healthier lifestyle than most probably do. Did I do something wrong? Was it my diet? Was it pesticides? Did I not exercise enough? Maybe it was the secondhand smoke I was exposed to as a child. Our minds don’t handle the unknown well. We naturally seek explanations.

But my own (maybe irrational) desire for answers to my unanswerable questions and my hope that others can avoid this awful diagnosis brought me to Breast Cancer Prevention Partners. I’m driven to support BCPP’s work to identify breast cancer causes AND address them. The groundbreaking Paths to Prevention: California Breast Cancer Primary Prevention Plan identifies 23 breast cancer risk factors and interventions which can help mitigate those risks.

While some of these risk factors can be addressed by us individually, many require societal changes and actions by our policymakers. But each action, each improvement, gets us closer to preventing another person from facing a breast cancer diagnosis.

If you’re wondering what you can do this Breast Cancer Prevention Month, please consider the following:

  1. Read Paths to Prevention and consider changes you can make to lower our own risk and ways you can advocate for change in your community to protect those around you.
  2. Visit BCPP’s Take Action page and join in, supporting legislative changes that reduce breast cancer risk and grow the movement for safer beauty, food, and homecare products.
  3. Sign up for BCPP’s emails to learn about future actions and BCPP campaigns.
  4. Refer a friend! Urge your loved ones to check out our work and get involved too!
  5. Download shopping tools, such as Clearya, that empower you to make conscious decisions as a consumer to avoid toxic, carcinogenic products.

Consider donating to support BCPP’s work to identify and eliminate environmental causes of breast cancer.


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Andrea-Dannenberg_BCPP-Volunteer-and-Breast-cancer-survivor

Honoring BCPP Heroine Mary Ann Castimore

Honoring BCPP Heroine Mary Ann Castimore

“Through BCPP, I have become an advocate, and by climbing mountains I hope to be a positive influence on others facing what I and so many others face when dealing with breast cancer. “Read More

Mary Ann Castimore, Mt. Rainier 2005

“Through BCPP, I have become an advocate, and by climbing mountains I hope to be a positive influence on others facing what I and so many others face when dealing with breast cancer. I stand on a summit with prayer flags in hand to convey the message of hope and remembrance: hope of a cure, of a long life, of a good quality of life, of a cancer-free world for the future; remembrance for all those who lost the battle.”
Mary Ann Castimore

Climb Against the Odds, Mt. Shasta 2003

Japanese Alps Trip 2007

Note from BCPP Director of Development Julie Pofsky
Mary Ann Castimore “MAC” was a fierce warrior in her battle against breast cancer. Diagnosed in 1986, she lived hard over 30 years past diagnosis. A member of the original guard at BCPP, MAC began her journey with us on Climb Against the Odds on Mt. McKinley in 1998. With the love and support of our BCPP community, she passed the day after Christmas on December 26, 2020. Rest in peace Mary Ann. This is our tribute to you, lionheart and dragon.

A letter to our community from your close friends:

Saranac 6

To our BCPP Family,

It is with great sadness that we write with the news of the passing of another great warrior/heroine. Mary Ann Castimore ascended from these earthly bounds on December 26.

She was a survivor extraordinaire, having been initially diagnosed in 1986 and in 1995 with mets. Undaunted by her decades long war against metastatic breast cancer, Mary Ann defied logic and science, never letting her cancer limit or define her.

She signed onto the Denali Climb in 1996 and in 1998 with mets to her sternum climbed higher than any other survivor. The following year she returned to “The Great One” with her husband, John and made it to 19,000 feet.

She was a guide on BCPP’s Climb Against the Odds: Mt. Fuji in 2000 and was instrumental in growing a relationship with our Japanese climbing friends. She, Cat, Iris, and Diane continued the outreach to our Japanese sisters, setting up a climb in the Japanese Alps in 2007, in the White Mountains of New Hampshire in 2010, and lastly in the Adirondacks, climbing the Saranac 6 in 2017. The Japanese repaid the invitations by inviting us back for climbs in the Japanese Alps and Mt. Fuji.

Mac was also part of the first Mt Shasta Climb in 2003 and the Mt Rainier Climb in 2005. Mac was the rudder in our boat, with the heart of a lioness and the will of forged steel she was a natural to lead the way.

Perhaps, because breast cancer was a part of more than half her life she truly had mastered what we all strive for, “to live life to its fullest, leaving nothing on the table.”

To paraphrase a poem by Jack London, succinctly sums up Mary Ann, “I would rather be ashes than dust, I would rather be a meteor than a star to flash across the sky in a fleeting moment of glory than to remain sedentary for all my life.”

Of course, we will always have an emptiness in our lives without her but we will also carry her spirit of courage, determination and resolve.

Forever in our hearts,

Iris Lancaster, Diane Matsumoto, Sandy Badillo, Cathy Ann Taylor

Saranac 6: Cathy Ann Taylor, Diane Matsumoto, Iris Lancaster, Mary Ann Castimore

Japanese Alps Trip 2007

Climb Against the Odds: Mt. Fuji 10-year reunion on Mt. Washington

Mt. Rainier 2005: Shiori, Iris Lancaster, Diane, and Mary Ann Castimore

Saranac 6

Climb Against the Odds Mt. Fuji 10-year reunion on Mt. Washington

Ann Castimore front row, 4th from left

Climb Against the Odds, Mt. Rainier 2005: Cathy Ann Taylor and Mary Ann Castimore

Mt. Rainier 2005


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3 Tips for Reducing Your Risk in 2021

3 Tips for Reducing Your Risk in 2021

New year, fresh beginnings. Let’s start this year off right, together! Today we offer a gift to you: our top 3 science-backed tips for how to reduce your breast cancer risk in 2021.Read More

From all of us at BCPP, thank you for your support as we closed the chapter on an incredibly challenging year. During these first days of 2021, we want to let you know how grateful we are for you. We are so inspired by the tremendous generosity of our community. New year, fresh beginnings. Let’s start this year off right, together!

Today we offer a gift to you: our top 3 science-backed tips for how to reduce your breast cancer risk in 2021. These tips are pulled from our groundbreaking Paths to Prevention: Breast Cancer Primary Prevention Plan.

Cut back on alcohol

We may have indulged a bit, or more than a bit, during the holidays. Now it’s time to establish healthy, long-term habits that reduce risk. Substantial scientific research links alcohol consumption with breast cancer risk, so reducing consumption is a very healthy choice to make. See if you can start by cutting back or substituting one drink a day or one drink each week with another beverage or even a favorite food.

Get Active

The evidence is undeniable that exercise—for all people, of any age—is protective against breast cancer (and COVID too). Rather than committing to a massive fitness New Year’s Resolution, try a small, achievable goal this year. How about a 20-minute midday walk to clear your head and get mentally prepared for the afternoon? Or bring the kids or grandkids to a nearby trail for a nature walk once a week? Can you join them in a game of catch? They’ll get moving, and you will too!

Clear the Air

Winter can mean more time indoors, so it’s that much more important to keep the air you’re breathing fresh and clear! You can make a long-term investment in your health by buying a HEPA air purifier to help filter dust and particulates that contain toxic chemicals from household furniture and other products. A low-cost option is simply improving your cleaning habits! Dust and mop with a damp cloth to trap toxic chemicals in instead of dry dusting or sweeping, which can lift them back into the air you breathe. Check out our blog Cleaning Safer and Toxic-Free with BCPP for healthy tips to breathe easier in your home.

Take Action

Send a message to urge your elected officials to put health above profits and pressure major corporations to stop selling toxic products.

Whether you pick one or more tips to reduce your breast cancer risk, we wish you a healthy and happy start to 2021!

P.S. Another great way to start the new year is to donate to prevent breast cancer.


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Emily-Reuman
Happy friends holding each other

Most cases of breast cancer are preventable.

October is Breast Cancer PREVENTION Month. Let's stop breast cancer before it starts.

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