BLOG: What’s coming up in 2016 for Breast Cancer UK!
Published 23 Jan 2016
As 2016 gets underway, we thought we’d take a brief look back at 2015 and take the opportunity to share with you some of our plans for 2016.
January 2015 seemed to kick off with a period of denial with the headline grabbing story that “cancer is just bad luck”, and Breast Cancer UK spent the rest of the year trying to tell people (i.e. policy makers in both the UK and Europe) that whilst getting cancer certainly isn’t 'good luck', there is a whole lot more that could be done to prevent it.
Breast Cancer UK called on the Cancer Task Force to establish a cancer prevention strategy, and on the European Foods Safety Authority to ban Bisphenol A (BPA) in food contact materials; we lobbied the European Commission to regulate Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals and asked UK policy makers to do the maths and ask how we are going to stop diseases like breast cancer, if we simply are not willing to invest in preventing them.
In addition, we spoke out on TTIP, COP21, Glyphosate, Flame retardants, chemicals in medical devices, plastics in recycled materials plus lots lots more. Achieving change at this level is not easy, especially when there appears to be a preoccupation with profit over people and treatment rather than prevention.
However, whilst policy makers may have continued to marginalise prevention issues, we are delighted to say that many of our supporters didn’t! We were privileged to meet with hundreds of members of the public across the country – at events in Liverpool, Reading, London and Brighton who were all keen to take away our literature and learn how to reduce their own exposures to harmful chemicals.
We launched our new advice for mums to be in February and relaunched our Shopping Guide in July. We have produced a number of Information sheets on some of the chemicals of most concern and explain how they are linked to a potentially increased risk of breast cancer. We were proud to support scientific research at the Universities of Reading, Brunel and Kings College London and look forward to hearing the outcome of those studies next year.
As we look forward to 2016 it has to be all about PREVENTION, PREVENTION, PREVENTION!
Encouraging a preventative approach to breast cancer is central to our charitable objectives and is at the heart of everything we do. We have begun (as one must do in January!) with hints and tips to help you detox one step at a time and we’ll continue to share advice and information on what to avoid over the next year.
We also plan to get out and about to lots more different events and conferences. This weekend we’re at It’s your Life in Birmingham; next month at Unison Women’s conference in Brighton; May will see us at the Lechlade Music Festival and July at the Love Natural Love Organic Show in Olympia London. We thoroughly enjoy these events, meeting supporters, sharing stories and swapping tips with people, who like us, want to reduce their risk and lead healthier lives which are free from harmful chemicals linked to breast cancer.
In September, we plan to launch our very own ‘prevention week’, dedicated to getting Prevention fully onto the agenda. We will continue to call on politicians and policy makers not to side line prevention, but to make it a fundamental pillar of public health policy.
We will continue to invest in scientific research that focuses on prevention and look forward to telling you about new and innovative research projects that your donations have helped us to support. It is research like this that will help us to better understand the links between harmful chemicals and breast cancer.
I know that the team here at Breast Cancer UK, along with our incredible supporters, all believe that one day, if we can understand all of the causes of breast cancer – we will be able to prevent it.