Cancer Prevention And Environmental Risk

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1. In a speech that she gave at a community forum in 1996 entitled "The Politics of Breast Cancer," Nancy Evans, then president of BCA, quoted this passage, which she attributed to a speech delivered by Sandra Steingraber in Santa Fe, New Mexico, in 1994. I quote it here partly to illustrate the way discourses traveled within the culture of environmental cancer activism.

2. I began doing participant observation of the TLC in October 1994, shortly after its formation. Most of the information on the history of the TLC comes from my notes on those meetings and from my participation in early events, including the 1994 demonstration at Race for the Cure. The information about the first two meetings of the TLC is based on interviews with cancer activist Judy Brady and on the public recounting of this history at various events. I conducted participant observation research with the TLC from 1994 to 1999.

3. Quotation taken from AstraZeneca International, "Community and Company Projects: US Breast Cancer Awareness Month," http://www.astrazeneca.com/ communityproject/ii0.aspx.

4. Although NBCAM's genealogy can be traced to 1985, there was no "National Breast Cancer Awareness Month" that year. Rather, there was a week of activities designed around the promotion of breast cancer early detection. As part of this effort Imperial Chemical Industries created a public service announcement featuring Susan Ford Bales and her mother, Betty Ford. The public service message elicited such a positive response that it led to the program's expansion into National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. See Johns Hopkins Health Information, "How It All Began."

5. This already-impressive vertical integration was later extended when Zeneca purchased Salick Health Care, which consisted of eleven comprehensive outpatient cancer treatment centers, six comprehensive breast centers, and a number of for-profit medical practices specializing in cancer, including one down the block from WCRC. Elisabeth Rosenthal, "Maker of Cancer Drugs to Oversee Prescriptions at ii Cancer Clinics," New York Times, April 15, 1997.

6. In 1999 NBCAM was second on the Project Censored list of the most censored news stories in i998. For reviews of Project Censored's list, see Jim Doyle, review of Censored 1999: The News That Didn't Make the News—The Year's Top 25 Censored Stories, by Peter Phillips and Project Censored, San Francisco Chronicle, June 6, i999, Book Review Section, 5. See also Gabriel Roth, "Not Fit to Print? Project Censored Uncovers the Stories That Didn't Make the News in 1998," Guardian, March 24, 1999.

7. The term "National Cancer Industry Awareness Month" was coined in 1993 by the late Jeannie Marshall, an activist with the Women's Community Cancer Project in Cambridge, Massachusetts. I am indebted to Barbara Brenner for this insight.

8. The image was actually a parody of Time magazine. The image, which was printed on posters and postcards and was widely circulated in feminist and environmental cancer networks, said, "Cancer has been linked to chlorine in the environment." At the bottom, the alarm clock is followed by the words "for Prevention" [time for prevention]. At the very bottom it reads: "In early 1992 TIME assured its readers that it would use non-chlorine bleached paper in the magazine 'as soon as it is practical to do so.' time has yet to keep that promise." Matuschka, Time for Prevention (1994).

9. Northern California Cancer Center, "Breast Cancer in the Greater Bay Area: Highest Incidence Rates in the World," Greater Bay Area Cancer Registry Report 5 (1994). The first page of this report contained a chart comparing breast cancer rates for women living in twenty different regions that included Japan, India, Colombia, Israel, France, Spain, Australia, Hawaii, and the San Francisco Bay Area. In visually striking terms the bar chart showed that white women in the Bay Area had the highest recorded rates of breast cancer in the world. The data on black women in the Bay Area, however, were in many ways even more shocking, though they received less attention. They showed that black women in the Bay Area had the fourth-highest breast cancer incidence rate of any group of women anywhere in the world. It was well known that black women had the highest mortality rate, but high incidence rates were perceived as a white issue. As this report made clear, however, black women in the Bay Area had a higher incidence rate than almost any other group of women in the world. Northern California Cancer Center, "Breast Cancer in the Greater Bay Area." Northern California Cancer Center, "Breast Cancer in the Greater Bay Area: Highest Incidence Rates in the World," Greater Bay Area Cancer Registry Report 5 (1994).

10. WEDO, which is based in New York City, was founded in 1990 by former U.S. Congresswoman and "cancer fighter" Bella Abzug, who led WEDO until her death in 1998.

11. Francine Levien died from breast cancer in 2001.

12. I was a participant-observer with MBCW for about three years, beginning in the fall of 1995, when the group first began meeting in Levien's living room. Interestingly enough, however, I learned of the formation of this new group at Race for the Cure, where GayLynn Richards, an oncology nurse at Marin Medical Center, was staffing the hospital's display booth—demonstrating, once again, the density of linkages between these three COAs and the relatively unrestrained flow of information within the Bay Area field of contention.

13. For a study of the Bayview—Hunters Point case, see Fishman, "Assessing Breast Cancer."

14. Clarence Johnson, "S.F. Summit to Address High Breast Cancer Rate," San Francisco Chronicle, October 30, 1996.

15. Andrea Martin, interview by author, November 11, 1996.

16. For an important study on the "emotion work" of social movements and the role of emotion cultures in AIDS activism, see Deborah B. Gould, "Life during Wartime: Emotions and the Development of ACT UP," Mobilization: An International Journal 7 (2002): 177—200.

17. Wingspread Conference on the Precautionary Principle, "Wingspread Statement on the Precautionary Principle," January 26,1998, Science and Environmental Health Network, http://www.sehn.org/wing.html.

18. Anthony S. Robbins, Sonia Brescianini, and Jennifer L. Kelsey, "Regional Differences in Known Risk Factors and the Higher Incidence of Breast Cancer in San Francisco," Journal of the National Cancer Institute 89 (July 2, 1997): 960—65.

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