by Katrina Kahl
At the heart of BCA’s work is providing information about breast cancer to the many people who are affected by the disease. In doing this, we sift through stacks of information (and misinformation) to bring critical analyses of what’s happening—and what’s important—in breast cancer.
As part of this work, BCA staff members and volunteers attend breast cancer conferences and symposiums to learn about the latest research findings and treatment practices and share them with our members. The cover story in this edition, by BCA volunteer Marilyn Zivian, reports on emerging trends in breast cancer research from the 2007 Breast Cancer Symposium: Integrating Emerging Science into Clinical Practice. (For more information about Zivian and her volunteer work at BCA, see “Congratulations: Two BCA Members Honored” in this issue of the BCA Source.) The major goal of the symposium was to bring together scientists and clinicians to discuss how to move research out of the laboratory and into practice.
Part of the work of bringing cutting-edge information to our members requires staff at BCA to continually monitor the media for breast cancer news and articles. Standing out in the piles of breast cancer “breakthroughs” was an article by Barbara Ehrenreich, a noted writer living with breast cancer (see “What Causes Cancer? Probably Not You”, in this issue of the BCA Source.). In her article, Ehrenreich describes the phenomenon of victim blaming in the information provided about breast cancer and points to research that challenges the long-held notion that the best way to avoid breast cancer is by modifying individual behaviors and attitudes.
Most important, we bring information to our members through our newsletter, e-alert, and Information and Referral (I&R) program. The BCA Source is a substantive publication that provides reports on conferences and symposiums, opinion pieces, book reviews, profiles of activists, and news clippings. The articles often give a critical analysis that puts information about breast cancer into perspective for our readers. The monthly e-alert provides up-to-the-minute news, notices, and action alerts on breast cancer. Through the e-alert, we give our members ways to take action on campaigns that can help to end the breast cancer epidemic. Finally, anyone who needs information about breast cancer can contact us through our Information and Referral program (see “About BCA’s I&R Program” in this issue of the BCA Source.). The I&R program helps people find the resources they need to answer their questions about all aspects of breast cancer.
BCA provides these services because people need them to make informed decisions about their health. We also hope that by educating people on the real issues in breast cancer, we can all take action to change the course of the epidemic.