New Research Reveals Unforeseen Side Effect of the Breast Cancer Movement
Research presented at the 2008 CTRC-AACR San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium finds that public awareness movement has promoted fear and myths among young girls
A groundbreaking study developed by Breastcancer.org reports that American girls are significantly affected by the steady stream of information and messaging around breast cancer. This study surveyed over 2,400 girls ages 8-18. Some of the key findings from this research revealed that nearly 30% of the girls surveyed believed that a normal sign of breast development was a symptom of breast cancer, and more than 20% of girls believed that infection, tanning, drug use and stress could cause cancer.
“The research findings really speak to the fact that breast cancer is ever-present in our girls’ lives,” said Dr. Marisa Weiss, President and Founder of Breastcancer.org. “Our study found that nearly 75% of these girls have someone in their lives with breast cancer … and that they are clearly affected by breast cancer messaging in their daily lives.”
“The breast cancer advocacy movement has improved countless lives-and saved so many. It’s been truly revolutionary and it must continue. However, in balance, we need to inform and positively frame this information for our girls in an age appropriate and relevant manner,” said Dr. Weiss.
In response to this study, Breastcancer.org has developed the Prevention Initiative for girls, a national outreach program that arms girls and young women with the facts and tools designed to promote breast health and reduce their risk of getting breast cancer during their lifetime.
Dr. Weiss will announce the study results at a poster presentation on December 13, 2008, at the CTRC-AACR San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium. Other authors include Dr. Jennifer Griggs (University of Michigan); Dr. Larry Norton (Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center); Pat Nogar, Dr. Paul Gilman, Dr. Jen Sabol, Dr. Zonera Ali, Dr. Ned Carp (all from Lankenau Hospital); Dr. Harvey Karp (UCLA); and Dr. Graham Colditz (Washington University).