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Hello! It's time for another installment of Breast Cancer Action's monthly e-newslettera  collection of news, notices and action alerts for people concerned about the  breast cancer epidemic. Welcome to any new e-alert members! If you think  you've been added by mistake, please follow the directions at the bottom of  the email to unsubscribe.

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WE  PUBLISH A SNAIL MAIL NEWSLETTER TOO - We just can't get enough of you. ..and hope that you can't get enough of us! If you're not already on our mailing list  we'd love to send you our bi-monthly newsletter filled with information  on treatment, diagnosis, politics, and scientific updates. Check out the archives  and subscribe  online.

In this issue...

TAKE ACTION: Breast  Cancer Awareness Month is over. . .your action still matters

IN THE NEWS: Ductal lavage study  results, Femara as adjuvant therapy, EPA study  funded by chemical industry

SAVE THE DATE: BCA in San  Antonio, TX 12/8-11, BCA  in Austin, TX  12/12

BCA IS HIRING:  Community Organizer and Development Associate positions open

FAQ of the MONTH: How  much have breast cancer rates risen over the years?

SUPPORT BCA: Buy a Rossmoor calendar as  a holiday gift

1. TAKE ACTION: Breast Cancer Awareness Month  is over. . .your action still matters

Thanks to all of you who took  action, thousands of women and men across the country looked beyond the  flurry of pink ribbons this October to ask where all the money raised in the  name of breast cancer is going. BCA's Think Before You Pink campaign got enormous press  coverage and our internet flash movie was forwarded widely. We can reach even more people and send the message that breast cancer matters every month of the year. We will be here - dedicated to ending the  breast cancer epidemic - as long as it takes.  We need your activism now more than ever. Please take a minute to  follow the links below:

Forward BCA's  internet flash movie if you haven't already. Educate your friends and family about the  need for a more coordinated, focused breast cancer research agenda.

Email the  research funders. Let them know it's time to get it together!

2. IN THE NEWS: Ductal  lavage study results, Femara  as adjuvant therapy, EPA study funded by chemical industry

Ductal  Lavage Study Results 
Back in 2001, BCA reported on this new technology for looking at breast cells  to see if they are cancerous or possibly on the way to becoming so. We titled  our article: For  Whom the Cells Toll: How Promising is Ductal Lavage? The  most recent study of ductal lavage,  published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute Ductal Lavage Findings in Women  With Known Breast Cancer Undergoing Mastectomy, Vol. 26, No. 20, October  20, 2004 shows that the technology is not effective as a means of detecting  or diagnosing invasive cancer.

As for what ductal  lavage can do, and what the implications might be  on the treatment side for being able to find cells that are on their way to  becoming cancer, but arent cancer yet, ignore the hype and stay tuned.

Breast  Cancer Screening Test Deemed Inaccurate, Reuters, 10/20

Femara  as Adjuvant Therapy
The Food and Drug  Administration recently approved the use of Femara  (letrozole) for postmenopausal women with primary  breast cancer who have finished five years of adjuvant (post-surgury) treatment with tamoxifen. The drug was already approved to treat advanced breast cancer but can now be used to reduce the risk of recurrence. The study of 5,100 women,  conducted by the National Cancer Institute of Canada, was stopped after only  2 1/2 years when results showed that 132 women taking the placebo pill had a local cancer recurrence compared to 75 of those on letrozole. The study's initial results were published  in the New  England Journal of Medicine, Vol. 340, No. 19, October 2003.

It's unusual that the FDA  approved this new use of Femara based on only one  study. Media hype and pharmaceutical  companies' desires to put new drugs on the market often preempt the thorough study of new drugs before they are released.  It's telling that the New York Times published this news in the  Business section rather than the Health section. A longer trial will be needed to enable us  to make definitive conclusions about the benefits of Femara. Thus far, little is known about the  long-term effects of aromatase inhibitors like Femara. Some of the known side effects include hot  flashes, arthritis, osteoporosis, musculoskeletal syndrome (aches and pains in soft tissue and joints), and neurocognitive  problems (with memory, attention, and word finding).

FDA  Approves Drug for Early Breast Cancer, Associated Press, 10/29


EPA  Study Funded by Chemical Industry
The Environmental  Protection Agency has agreed to accept $2 million from the American Chemistry  Council to help fund a study exploring the impact of pesticides and household  chemicals on young children. The study  will pay 60 families $970 plus a t-shirt and a camcorder to document the  pesticides and household chemicals their children are exposed to through  normal home applications. The  Environmental Working Group, an environmental watchdog group, questioned why  an agency with a $572 million research budget needed to accept industry  contributions to conduct scientific research. They are concerned that industry could  influence a study that could lay the groundwork for future regulation.

Chemical Industry Funds EPA  Study, Washington Post, 10/26

3. SAVE THE DATE: BCA in San Antonio, TX  12/8-11, BCA in Austin, TX 12/12

Lunch  with BCA in San Antonio
Wednesday, December 8th,  noon - 1:30 and
Thursday, December 9, noon - 1:00
San Antonio Marriott Riverwalk - Cactus Flower Caf
711 East Riverwalk
Let's make our voices heard!  The San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium is  the largest annual medical conference dedicated exclusively to breast cancer  research.  Advocates are only a small percentage of the attendees, but  together we can make our presence known.  It is important that  breast cancer advocates have a voice in breast cancer research and  policy. BCA will host two lunches  during the Symposium for activists to come together and learn more about  increasing their visibility at scientific conferences. Please RSVP to Brenda at or  415-243-9301.

We also need volunteers to help  staff our booth at the Symposium. If you're interested in volunteering for a 2-hour shift any time December 8-10  please contact Brenda at or 415-243-9301.

Meet BCA  in Austin 
Sunday, December 12th, 1 - 3 pm
BCA members Fern Ramirez  and Sarah Weddington will be co-hosting a house  party in Austin, Texas.  BCA executive director, Barbara Brenner, will talk about key issues in  breast cancer and share some highlights from the San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium. This gathering is open to  everyone. If you have friends in the  area please encourage them to attend! For  more information or to RSVP contact Celeste at or  415-243-9301. Space is limited so  don't delay!

Host your own  house party for BCA

4. BCA IS HIRING: Community Organizer and  Development Associate positions open

Community  Organizer
The time has come for me to say goodbye  to Breast Cancer Action. It has been an amazing place to learn, grow, and  work for change for the past 2 1/2 years. I believe fiercely in BCA's mission and work, and no matter where I go I will  always be a "bad girl of breast cancer!" Check out our website for a full job  description.

Development Associate
We will be seeking a full-time Development Associate to start in January 2005.  Responsibilities include: donor relations, database management, campaign support, foundation research, and benefits and special  events coordination.  Candidates should have a minimum of one year's  experience in nonprofit development.  Look for the full job description  on our website next week.  Cover letter and resume to Alex Momtchiloff at

5. FAQ of the MONTH: How much have breast  cancer rates risen over the years?

Breast cancer rates have been  climbing steadily in the United States and other industrialized countries  since the 1940s, amounting to more than one million cases per year worldwide.  During the past half-century, the lifetime risk of breast cancer more than  tripled in the United States.  In the 1940s a woman's lifetime risk of  breast cancer was one in 22.  In 2004, it was one in seven.  Breast  cancer is the leading cause of death in American women ages 34 to 44.   Although breast cancer in men accounts for less than one percent of the  disease, in the United States the incidence has increased by 25 percent in  the past 25 years.  An estimated 1,600 men were expected to be diagnosed  with breast cancer in 2004.

Once a disease almost exclusively  of postmenopausal women, breast cancer now strikes women in their 20s and  30s. Of the estimated 211,000 women in the United States diagnosed with breast cancer in 2002, approximately 10,500 were women under 40. 

More American women have died of  breast cancer in the last 20 years than the number of Americans killed in  World War I, World War II, the Korean War and the Vietnam War combined.

A significant  body of evidence indicates that exposure to the ever-increasing number of  synthetic chemicals in our environment and to radiation are contributing to the increased incidence of  breast cancer. Considerable resources are spent encouraging women to make changes in their personal lives that might reduce their risk of breast  cancer. But many factors that contribute to the disease lie far beyond an  individual's personal control and can only be addressed by government policy  and private sector changes. Breast cancer is not just a personal tragedy; it  is a public health crisis that requires political will to change the status  quo. Fundamental changes are needed in both the public and private sectors  regarding the production, use and disposal of chemicals known and suspected  to increase the risk of breast cancer.

State of the Evidence:  What is the Connection Between the Environment and Breast Cancer?
Report co-published by BCA

-- YOUR INPUT WANTED: Is there a question  you want answered, or an issue that you want BCA's  opinion on? Send it to and we'll try to answer it  personally or feature it in a future e-newsletter!

6. SUPPORT BCA: Buy a Rossmoor calendar as a  holiday gift

Inspired by the movie 'Calendar  Girls', the Rossmoor retirement community in Walnut Creek, California has  produced a spoof pin-up calendar featuring residents of the community.   One hundred percent of all proceeds from sales of this high-quality calendar  go directly to BCA.  For further information or to purchase a calendar (minimum  $10 each), call Angela Carrier at 415-243-9301 x10, or email her at BCA extends many thanks to the Rossmoor community! Read  more about the calendar and check out the cover photo!

That's it for this edition! Feel  free to contact me if you have any questions or comments about this listserv.

Thanks for your continued support  of BCA. Until next time,

Kendra Klein, Community Organizer
Toll free at 877-2STOPBC (278-6722)

Our members are the driving force  behind our efforts to end the breast cancer epidemic. Because Breast Cancer  Action does not accept funding from the government or the pharmaceutical and healthcare industries, we need your support. You can donate on-line,  or call 415-243-9301, or toll-free at 1-877-278-6722. All gifts are deeply  appreciated.

Breast Cancer Action is funded in  part by a grant from the California Wellness Foundation (TCWF). Created in  1992 as an independent, private foundation, TCWF's  mission is to improve the health of the people of California by making grants  for health promotion, wellness education and disease prevention programs.

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