Breast Cancer Action carries the voices of people affected by breast cancer to inspire and compel the changes necessary to end the breast cancer epidemic.
What Does BCAction Do?
Breast Cancer Action (BCAction) is a national, feminist grassroots education and advocacy organization working to end the breast cancer epidemic.
We were founded in 1990 by a group of women who realized the power of community. BCAction was born from a need for a grassroots organization with a unique understanding of the political, economic, and social context of breast cancer.
After years of encountering government agencies and organizations that provided inadequate and superficial information rather than scientific evidence about breast cancer, Elenore Pred grew angry.
Elenore shared her anger with other women who had metastatic breast cancer. Together they formed Breast Cancer Action (BCAction), now a national organization at the forefront of the breast cancer activist movement. Since Elenore Pred’s death in October 1991, BCAction has continued the work she began. You can read more about our history and victories here.
BCAction’s members are women with breast cancer and their supporters — ordinary people who, by educating themselves on the facts and the issues related to breast cancer, have empowered themselves and others to create needed change to end the epidemic.
Our strict corporate contributions policy allows us to be an independent, fearless voice for women at risk of and living with breast cancer. We do not take money from anyone who profits from or contributes to the breast cancer epidemic.
We have always believed that the breast cancer epidemic is a public health crisis, and a social justice issue. We advocate for systemic change that will end the breast cancer epidemic, while supporting women & men at risk for and living with breast cancer.
BCAction provides information about breast cancer to anyone who needs it via a free information and referral service, newsletter, free webinars, toolkits & fact sheets, and an email list – sign up here.
Through our Think Before You Pink campaign, we demand transparency and accountability in pink ribbon marketing.
BCAction members across the country–and world–advocate for systemic changes to end the epidemic in three strategic areas:
1. Advocate for more effective and less toxic breast cancer treatments. We work to shift the balance of power in the Food and Drug Administration’s drug approval process away from the pharmaceutical industry and toward the public interest. Our independence from pharmaceutical company funding puts us in a unique position in the breast cancer movement to advance this ambitious goal. BCAction will always put the needs of women with breast cancer first and encourage the FDA to do the same.
2. Decrease involuntary environmental exposures that put people at risk for breast cancer. BCAction is committed to the precautionary principle of public health: First, do no harm. While many breast cancer organizations offer advice on how individuals can reduce their voluntary exposures to carcinogens, the policy changes needed to eliminate these exposures for everyone require a broader social justice approach that BCAction has always provided and will continue to provide.
3. Create awareness that it is not just genes, but social injustices — political, economic, and racial inequities — that lead to disparities in breast cancer outcomes. Discussions of the social determinants of health are beginning to emerge in a number of health fields, but the cancer world still focuses on genes and differences in screening patterns. BCAction has changed many conversations in breast cancer, and we will work to change this one as well, so that people understand the social justice lens in which breast cancer needs to be seen and studied in order to change the inequities in breast cancer outcomes.
Core Principles and Values
The beliefs and standards under which everyone at Breast Cancer Action operates to carry out the mission.
- We are a membership organization.
- We honor each person’s commitment and energy to our mission.
- We are not afraid to examine all sides of all issues.
- We cannot be bought.
- We tell the truth about what we discover.
- We serve individuals while reaching the broader population.
- We value the involvement of grassroots activists throughout the country and around the world to further our mission.
- We encourage people to participate fully in decisions relating to breast cancer.
- We believe access to information is vital.
- We recognize that structural changes in society are needed to accomplish our mission.