Breast Cancer Risks You Can Change

To prevent breast cancers, scientists look for risk factors (anything that increases your chance of developing cancer) and protective factors (anything that decreases your chance of developing cancer) starting even before birth. We can't change the genes we inherit or our age. However, some risk factors for cancer can be avoided, such as smoking.

Avoiding risk factors and increasing protective factors may lower your risk but it does not mean that you will not get breast cancer. ZBC focuses on individual and community actions and environments that we can change.

We provide these materials free of charge to schools, nonprofits, businesses and others interested in sharing our materials with their clients or their communities. Please fill out this MATERIALS REQUEST FORM and email us This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. if you would like copies in English and/or Spanish.

If you would like to support our mission to educate diverse, low-income communities about breast cancer prevention, we welcome donations to offset the cost of developing, printing and mailing these materials. Thank you for your support!

ZBC 18x24Poster 13Ways English 2018 webZBC 18x24Poster 13Ways Spanish 2018 webl

(Download the poster in English or Spanish

Check out our brochures! Breast Cancer Risks You Can Change

Breast Development, Biology and Density

The Breast Biologues

The Breast Biologues: A biology dialogue about breast cancer and the environment is a 15-minute animated video premiered in November 2010. Narrated by Emmy Award-winning actor Peter Coyote, The Breast Biologues uses time-lapse imaging to explain how the normal breast develops and how exposures to potential cancer-causing chemicals during specific periods of development might influence future breast cancer risk. In addition, comic books based on the video are available in EnglishSpanish, and Vietnamese and can be used in conjunction with the video or on their own. The comic books discuss the biology of the breast and latest BCERP research.

Read more: Breast Development, Biology and Density

Breast Cancer Risk Factors We Can Change Together

Woman at a protest with BRAVE written on her chest.

While we can do a lot of things as individuals to reduce our own risk of breast cancer, there are many risk factors that we can’t address alone. Built into our society, for example, are racism, unsafe chemicals, and policies that harm our health. All of these and more shape breast cancer risk and can only be changed by working together. This page is a work-in-progress and more areas where collective action is necessary will be added.

Read more: Breast Cancer Risk Factors We Can Change Together

For Girls & Their Families

Studies show that our risk for many chronic disease as adults, like breast cancer and heart disease, is influenced by things that happen in childhood or even before birth. As researchers studied why some girls begin puberty earlier than others, we have been working to help girls start healthly habits and avoid toxic chemicals. Through the Breast Cancer and the Environment Research Program (BCERP), we partnered to produce health messages for adolescent girls and their parents/caregivers.

Reducing her risk now

bcerp general audience brochure(In English and Spanish)

Read more: For Girls & Their Families

For Organizations & Health Professionals Serving Girls

Clinicians, researchers and community advocates partnered in the Breast Cancer and the Environment Research Program (BCERP) to develop messages about pubertal development and reducing our daughters' risks for breast cancer as a community.

Looking for Outreach materials? The BCERP website offers factsheets on chemicals, a Safe Plastics Guide, a series of Talking Points sheets and this brochure.

Taking Action in Your Community brochure

bcerp outreach brochure

Read more: For Organizations & Health Professionals Serving Girls

Building a Youth Advisory Board

yab meeting slide

We worked with girls who were in the CYGNET Study, creating a Youth Advisory Board (YAB) to give them a voice in the research. We offer our experience to help other groups who want to empower youth in their projects. We can provide a summary with the board's purpose, how members were chosen, what work was completed, and recommendations for improvements in the future. We can also provide meeting agendas, powerpoints, and evaluations as well as examples of the deliverables and materials produced by the YAB for other study participants and the lay public.

Here is a sample YAB Meeting agenda, powerpoint, worksheet and evaluation.


Breast Cancer Recurrence Prevention

One of the biggest fears facing a person who has "survived" breast cancer is the chance it could return or recurrence. In addition to therapies doctors suggest, we know that people who eat healthy, get exercise and have good support from friends and/or family generally live longer after cancer treatment. Still, even if you do everything just right, cancer might come back.

Based on the current evidence, we suggest:

  • Eating healthy
  • Physical activity (exercise at work, home, gym or wherever), start as slow and low impact as you need and build up
  • Stress management (yoga, meditation, prayer)
  • Avoid excessive sun exposure and/or use a healthy sunscreen (melanoma risk is much higher after breast cancer)
  • Get support, it can be from a cancer group or friends and family

 Be Healthy After Treatment, American Cancer Society. Offers advice about getting and staying healthy.

Breast Cancer Survivorship

Almost 3 million people living in the United States have received a breast cancer diagnosis and most no longer receive active treatment. Survivorship Care Planning is a process with paper documents or online materials to help people make the transition from active cancer treatment to the new normal. 

Through Pathways and other studies, we are learning how important family and friends (social support) and reducing stress (through yoga, prayer or meditation) are for well-being after breast cancer.

Read more: Breast Cancer Survivorship

Breast Cancer & the Environment - Selected Publications

selected publications

Read more: Breast Cancer & the Environment - Selected Publications

Breast Cancer in the SF Bay Area - Selected Publications

cbcmp report cover

Recomendaciones de aplicaciones

Detox Me (Desintoxicándome)

spanish detox me image for web

Detox Me (Desintoxicándome) es una aplicación gratuita para teléfonos inteligentes que ofrece una manera sencilla de aprender sobre los químicos en los productos, explorar maneras de evitarlos, hacer un seguimiento del progreso, obtener recordatorios y celebrar hitos. Fue desarrollado por Silent Spring Institute, quien ha sido socio de Zero Breast Cancer por mucho tiempo y que realiza investigaciones sobre la exposición ambiental de sustancias químicas con una excelente reputación científica. Detox Me está disponible para dispositivos iPhone y Android. Descargarlo en Apple App Store o Google Play. Está disponible en español e inglés, según el idioma predeterminado del dispositivo.

Lea más: Recomendaciones de aplicaciones

Información sobre prevención de cáncer de mama - riesgos que puedes cambiar

Para prevenir el cáncer de mama, los científicos buscan factores de riesgos (todo lo que aumenta la posibilidad del desarrollo de cáncer) y factores protectivos (todo lo que reduce la posibilidad de desarrollar cáncer) empezando hasta antes del nacimiento. No podemos cambiar nuestros genes que heredamos ni nuestra edad. Sin embargo, algunos factores de riesgos del cáncer, pueden ser evitados, como fumar por ejemplo.

Evitando factores de riesgos e incrementando factores protectivos podrían disminuir el riesgo pero tampoco significa que no vas a agarrar cáncer de mama. ZBC se enfoca en los comportamientos individuales y comunitarios y los ambientes que podemos cambiar.

Proporcionamos nuestros posters, folletos, y volantes sin cargo a las escuelas, nonprofits, negocios, y todos los que estén interesados en compartir nuestros materiales con sus clientes o en su comunidad. Favor de mandar un correo electrónico aquí si usted desea recibir copias en español y inglés.

ZBC 18x24Poster 13Ways Spanish 2018 weblZBC 18x24Poster 13Ways English 2018 web

(Descarga el póster en español o inglés

¡Mira nuestros folletos! Información sobre prevención de cáncer de mama - riesgos que puedes cambiar