Knowledge is power
Two decades ago you may have been one of those people who experienced a severe dearth of resources and materials about breast cancer for the newly diagnosed, for your families or for your community members. From its earliest days Zero Breast Cancer (formerly Marin Breast Cancer Watch) published hard copy newsletters in order to share information about the field of breast cancer, including environmental hazards, population studies and related research, medical breakthroughs, changing recommendations for prevention and improving outcomes for survivors. We have a complete archive of copies in PDF if you ever wish to access them. We also post all our digital newsletters on our website so you can always check back there if you think you have missed one.
In 2018 you have probably realized there is no shortage of resources. Quite the opposite. There is a veritable deluge of information and the challenge now is to cut through the noise and find the signals. Zero Breast Cancer has a jealously guarded reputation for sharing evidence-based information and for avoiding jumping onto band-wagons and blindly following fads and fashion. This is one of the most useful ways we can serve you and your community.
In that spirit we created a regular series of book reviews that is intended to support your search for reading material. Our approach is to summarize books in such a way that you can quickly determine the relevance and usefulness of a book for your needs. We are selective in choosing what to review to provide a good cross section of resources to help educate you on related topics, explain this disease to you, inspire you and comfort you as needed. If you have a book you have found really helpful and would like to share your review with the ZBC community please contact us here.
The deepest well of resources now resides online and it seemed helpful to share with you the websites that Zero Breast Cancer deems reliable, credible, evidence-based and that explain terminology well and avoid jargon. The four we have blogged about so far are;1) a comprehensive breast cancer encyclopedia, 2) a thorough and well maintained resource on inherited breast cancer risk, 3) a broad and comprehensive source of information about safe chemicals for our homes and personal care use and 4) the latest scientific findings on the relationship between environmental exposures and breast cancer.
I have long wanted to recommend blogs as another source of digital content about breast cancer that might be useful for you or people that you know. That is somewhat of a Herculean task as blogs are probably the most ubiquitous category of online content about this disease. I recently read a blog that was itself a review of several blogs, written from the perspective of the provocative question of whether there was any place in the cancer experience for humor? I felt that the quality of the blog was such that it was worth sharing. When I wrote seeking permission to do so I received a gracious reply that was very complimentary about the ZBC website so that felt gratifying! Please see the second from last segment of this newsletter for more about this particular blog review. Please also follow our blog and if you would like to suggest topics or help with reviews please contact us here.
Long Term Partnerships Matter
A long standing partnership with the Safeway Foundation of Northern California, dating back to 2005, has provided significant support for Zero Breast Cancer's information sharing initiatives over many years totaling $146,000.00 to date! This money is raised from donations by Northern California Safeway Customers like you! In 2018/19 the Safeway Foundation's contribution will help to grow and expand the dissemination of two multi-lingual campaigns that educate and empower girls and women to reduce their risk of breast cancer and encourage them to pursue individual and community actions. An urgent priority is undeserved communities who face persistent health and health care disparities.
All ZBC materials are freely available online and have been mobile optimized. Research has shown that many low-income groups in particular access the web through smart phones rather than desktops. Social media helps to reach people about these campaigns but so does working with community based organizations.
Previous Safeway Foundation funding helped support the translation and adaptation of ZBC’s Girls New Puberty (including videos and an interactive, mobile-optimized microsite) in English, Spanish and Chinese and 13 Ways to Reduce Your Risk of Breast Cancer in English and Spanish. Please contact us if you would like hard copies of materials for your community.
Thank you Safeway customers and the Safeway Foundation!
Annual Community and Business Partner Events Help Raise Awareness Too
Shout-out to the International Association of Firefighters (IAFF) 1775 and Lappert's Ice Cream, The Mercantile at Cavallo Point, and The Tam High School District Health and Wellness Program for partnering with ZBC to raise awareness about breast cancer risk reduction.
I am also delighted to say that the Pink Patch Project, now in its third year, continues to grow. If you live in Marin and you noticed your local law enforcement personnel wearing pink patches for the the month of October then know that they also sell these patches and support Zero Breast Cancer from the proceeds. Visit the Facebook Page of the Fairfax Officers Association and follow the fun adventures of their unique Pink Patch as it travels the world.
Pictured; Rose Barlow with Fairfax Police Chief, Christopher Morin, and members of the Police Officers Association, including FPOA President William Cade (presenting
the check) and FPOA Pink Patch Coordinator Guy Crow (white shirt).
A Call to Action
I would like to close out this (2018) Breast Cancer Awareness Month newsletter with the stirring words of Dr. Natalya Lvoff, MD, Director of the Breast Health Center at Marin General Hospital, at the start of the recent 16th Annual Dipsea Hike for Zero Breast Cancer. Please click on the image to run this short video.
Pictured: Dr. Natalya Lvoff, MD, Rose Barlow (partially blocked), and ZBC Board Members Judy Wetterer, Melissa Felder and JT Peterson
Thank you all for joining us in "pinking" thoughtfully during October 2018!
Wishing you good health,
PS Please consider making a gift today in memory of, or in honor of, a loved one who was impacted by breast cancer or make a gift in support of the vision of a world with zero breast cancer.
PPS When you shop at Sports Basement, Mill Valley Market and Beautycounter you can help support Zero Breast Cancer. You can see details about these partners here (scroll to the very bottom of the page).