Zero Breast Cancer (Zerobreastcancer.org), or ZBC, is a non-profit organization based in Marin County, California. Both Kathie and I write a book review blog post for them once a month. But we haven’t spoken much about them on our own blog…so today I am remedying that because you need to know – and follow – what they do.
Let’s start with their vision:
“We envisage a world with zero breast cancer.”
Makes you want to go and check them out, doesn’t it!
What does ZBC do?
Zero Breast Cancer promotes breast cancer (BC) reduction by translating the scientific evidence on modifiable risk factors for breast cancer. Examples of risk factors that can be modified are physical activity, breastfeeding, nutrition, hormone-disrupting chemical exposures, alcohol consumption, stress, health equity, etc.
Who do they serve?
ZBC educates and empowers girls, women, and communities, with a particular focus on those in underserved communities.
With teens, ZBC’s work goes beyond education on how to reduce their risk of breast cancer in later life.
For example, ZBC created a Youth Advisory Board (YAB) for a 10-year research study called the CYGNET study (now completed). The study investigated the effects of environmental exposures on puberty which may predispose women to breast cancer. The YAB comprised 15 teen study participants who met monthly and provided feedback to the study researchers and staff. They had a say in helping the researchers recruit and engage other study participants, and in preparing information and materials. It was a great opportunity for these girls to learn about research. And from this, they gained an appreciation of the big picture of scientific research and the importance of their own involvement.
ZBC are now creating other teen programs to engage and empower them.
Women and communities
ZBC considers not only what we can do as individuals to change our behaviors and reduce risk but also those factors that are greater than the individual – such as the availability of healthy food, safe places to exercise/walk, environmental issues, etc. We need more than personal change. We need community change too, as many of the risk factors involved in BC are social, cultural, or economic.
What sets ZBC apart from other breast cancer prevention organizations is their focus on supporting individuals and communities that are often neglected. ZBC deals with questions such as: How do we get information about risk reduction to the underserved populations? What can we do to help those people that leave their discovery of cancer later and later because they are uninsured or don’t have access to care? Who is helping teens look after their breasts and make them aware of what they can do early in life to prevent breast cancer later in life?
Links for Zero Breast Cancer
There is a lot of information on the ZBC website about what they do. Here is the link: http://www.zerobreastcancer.org
They are also on Facebook; check them out there too and like their page: https://www.facebook.com/zerobreastcancer/ so you can keep up to date with what they are doing.
Check out ZBC’s volunteer opportunities and get involved. (This gives you the bonus of working with ZBC’s lovely staff – Rose, Catherine, and Cailen.)
In the meantime – let’s all be part of their vision by considering the “13 ways to reduce your risk of breast cancer” infographic at the top of this post.