Breast Cancer Prevention Topic of Discussion at Thursday Panel

The School of Public Health and Health Services will host the free event at 3 p.m. in the Jack Morton Auditorium.

February 11, 2013

A panel of breast cancer experts will convene Thursday at the George Washington University to discuss how to prevent a disease that is the second leading cause of cancer death among women.

The School of Public Health and Health Services, along with the Breast Cancer Fund and the H. John Heinz III Center for Science, Economics and the Environment, will host “Breast Cancer Prevention: New Evidence, New Agenda,” from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. in the Jack Morton Auditorium.

Register early for this event

Frank Sesno, director of the School of Media and Public Affairs, will moderate a discussion with Linda Birnbaum, director of the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences; Conn Nugent, president of the Heinz Center; Jeanne Rizzo, president and CEO of the Breast Cancer Fund; and Florence Williams, author of “Breasts: A Natural and Unnatural History.” Lynn R. Goldman, SPHHS dean, will provide opening remarks.

“We’re excited to be hosting this forum on breast cancer, a disease that will strike more than 230,000 women this year,” Dr. Goldman said. “The expert panel at the forum will explore policy solutions that might help stop this disease before it gets started.”

The discussion will also include a look at the growing body of evidence that suggests that breast cancer risk increases with exposure to toxic chemicals in the environment, even from products as seemingly innocuous as cosmetics.

Finding the causes of breast cancer in order to prevent it is a big challenge, Mr. Nugent said, but researchers have made progress in recent years.

“It’s not at all simple, but people might be surprised to learn how much more scientists know about risk factors and causation than they did five or 10 years ago.”

Ms. Rizzo said the event promises to be “remarkable.”

“It’s rare to have such an assembly of leading scientists and visionaries who are working to prevent breast cancer,” she said. “I hope that the attendees take away a better understanding of the connection between the environment and their health and that prevention of breast cancer is not only possible but a public health imperative.”

Thursday’s event is free and open to the public, but attendees should register in advance.