On June 23, I will be walking in an event called Against The Tide, a walk/run/swim/kayak event that supports the Massachusetts Breast Cancer Coaltion (MBCC). MBCC is different from other breast cancer organizations that you may have heard about. We’re not looking “for the cure”; we aren’t funding mammograms; we aren’t helping women in treatment look more beautiful. What we ARE doing is trying to figure out why so many women are getting breast cancer; more now than ever before.

Forty years ago, the breast cancer rate in the U.S. was 1 in 20. One in 20 women would get breast cancer in their lifetime. Today, the rate is 1 in 8. One in 8! Why has this rate risen?

There is strong, building scientific consensus that exposure to chemicals in our environment is causing this epidemic. We are exposed daily to hundreds of chemicals, from the pesticides on our lawn, to the cosmetics we apply to our faces, to the cleaning products we use in our homes, to the fire retardant chemicals in our furniture.

Many of these chemicals are not fully tested before they are used in industry. We at MBCC would like to see the laws strengthened so that companies must properly test chemicals before inflicting them onto the population. European countries subscribe to the Precautionary Principle, which means: if you think something might be harmful, don’t use it.  In the U.S., the opposite seems to be true.

I was diagnosed with breast cancer when I was 47, and my mother, when she was 47, 23 years earlier. We don’t have the cancer gene. Something else is going on.

So I’ll be walking in a few weeks to raise money and awareness. We don’t want to cure breast cancer; we want to prevent it. Please join me. If you’d like to learn more about MBCC, Against the Tide, or if you’d like to donate, just click here.  And thanks.