Once the initial shock of receiving a breast cancer diagnosis begins to ease, each newly diagnosed woman joins countless others in asking gnawing, painful questions: Why me? What did I do? Was it something in my genes, my life, my home, my neighborhood? How can I protect my daughters and their daughters?
Only research can provide the answers to such questions. We know that inherited genes alone are not the dominant cause of breast cancer. Yet teasing out environmental clues to the disease is enormously difficult. A woman’s exposure to a carcinogen may have occurred years or even decades before her tumor first was detected. And her cancer may not have been caused by a single, identifiable exposure; it may have developed through the interaction of a range of many chemicals or from the interplay of chemicals and other factors.
Most breast cancer research is dedicated to finding new methods of detection and treatment. That’s important. But adding investments in prevention offers real hope to save women from getting the disease.
“Prevention has never been popular research,” says Cathie Ragovin, a founding board member of Silent Spring Institute, “because science is driven in large part by profit motives—and there’s no profit in prevention. And yet we’re all living in a soup of carcinogens. We’re breathing them, eating them, drinking them, even showering in them.”
Silent Spring Institute remains dedicated to research into preventable causes of breast cancer. We urge you to support our work. Your help will allow us to continue to conduct the innovative, yet painstaking, research required to uncover—and break—the environmental links to breast cancer.
Silent Spring Institute is an approved 501(c)3 public charity, registered with the Massachusetts Office of the Attorney General, Non-Profit Organizations/Public Charities Division. Copies of our financial statement may be obtained through the Office of the Attorney General, One Ashburton Place, Boston, MA 02108, or upon request.