Tackling an
environmental disease

 HEA, UNISON, Co-operative bank and Scottish breast cancer campaign logos
Primary prevention is the answer



Information on this webpage is drawn from our 2005 report: Breast cancer - an environmental disease: the case for primary prevention, available free as a pdf, see Downloads. For current statistics and data, see our homepage.

Implications of accepting that the cancer epidemic may essentially be preventable will pose some difficult problems for politicians and decision-makers, who will have to consider adopting policies that may damage the economy in the short term in order to reap health benefits which will only become apparent several decades in the future.
(Hens Howard Van Larebeke 2004)
Empowered by the people and obligated by law, it is the duty of government: As a consequence of government's failure to adopt effective preventive measures, citizens find themselves caught between two extremes:

Prevention economics

In two reports prepared for the UK Treasury by Sir Derek Wanless on future health spending (April 2002, February 2004), he warns that 'the huge sums invested in NHS modernisation will be wasted if the health service is hit by high levels of preventable illness over the next 20 years.' ('Putting Health First' King's Fund 2004) Both in economic and social terms, prevention is the common sense approach to sustainable, long-term health service provision.

Directions for responsible government

Deep public mistrust stemming from a recent history of government failures to protect public health (e.g. BSE and CJD) makes more urgent the need for resolute government action on many issues related to the primary prevention of breast cancer. For example, a responsible government would: Reducing human exposures to carcinogens and EDCs will require: Above all, future policies for protecting and benefiting human, environmental and economic health will require a return to the basic principles of common sense and a valuing of life and the environment which sustains it.

contact us | about us | a campaign of Breast Cancer UK reg. charity number: 1138866 in England & Wales; reg. company number: 7348408|
Reg. address: Breast Cancer UK Ltd, Solva, Southwick Road, Denmead, Waterlooville, Hants. PO7 6LA UK | last updated: 05/10/2006