Our mission is to prevent breast cancer through education, scientific research, collaboration, and policy change.
Around 56,000 women and 390 men a year in the UK are diagnosed with breast cancer. Yet at least 30% of these cases could be prevented through lifestyle changes. That means an estimated 17,000 cases of breast cancer could be prevented, saving millions of lives, avoiding unnecessary suffering, and reducing the cost to the NHS by over £1.5 billion a year.
It is raising awareness of these preventable factors which drive us. We believe our work can have a significant impact in helping women and men reduce their risk of developing breast cancer.
The charity was first registered in 2001 under the name of Breast UK by founding members Heather Goodare, Clare Dimmer, Ann Johnson, and Helen Lynn. Breast UK sought to provide a patient-orientated forum and influence the direction of research on cause and treatment alongside education of patients.
We began campaigning on prevention and reducing exposure to harmful chemicals in 2004 and were renamed Breast Cancer UK in 2006 with Clare Dimmer becoming chair in 2007. We campaigned on endocrine-disrupting chemicals given their links to breast cancer. We launched our ‘No More BPA’ campaign which led to the chemical BPA being banned in baby bottles in 2011. Sadly in 2014, Clare an inspirational driver of the charity passed away after a long battle with breast cancer.
Lynn Ladbrook became our first CEO and led the charity from 2013 to 2019. During her tenure, we expanded our prevention remit to address environmental and lifestyle risk factors. We lobbied at the EU and UK levels to press for more effective regulation of harmful chemicals. We funded our first scientific research projects and launched our grant funding programme investigating the links between harmful chemicals and breast cancer. We also developed educational campaigns to raise awareness of harmful chemicals found in everyday products.
In 2019, Thalie Martini became our new CEO. In 2021, Breast Cancer UK celebrated its 20th anniversary by releasing our Prevention Hub, a free-to-use digital resource to help individuals start their breast cancer prevention journey.
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