In the past decade, the very personal question, “Why did I get breast cancer?” has been transformed. New voices ask, “Why do we have breast cancer rates higher than generations before and among the highest in the world? What can we do as a community of women and men to change the legacy for our daughters?” Silent Spring Institute was founded as an alliance of scientists and activists to address these questions, searching for breast cancer prevention and improved women’s health through environmental studies.
Science brings us strong signals that we can reach our goal. If breast cancer incidence rates can rise dramatically, we can learn to bring them down. If natural estrogen increases breast cancer risk, we must study synthetic estrogens from detergents, plastics, pesticides, cosmetics, and myriad sources in commerce today. If we know that more than a hundred compounds in air pollution, solvents, and other products cause mammary tumors in animals, we must follow those clues.
Extending this research is difficult and painstaking. We need new methods to assess exposures over the decades of a woman’s life, to take into account relationships between the environment and other breast cancer risk factors.
I am so grateful for the support of women and men who founded and sustain Silent Spring Institute’s commitment to this work. I thank you for visiting our website, and I invite you to join in our search for prevention through environmental studies.
Julia G. Brody, PhD