Sarah Vogel, Ph.D., is Managing Director of EDF's Health Program.
Breast cancer is a personal issue for too many of us. For six years I have watched the disease overtake a very dear friend’s life. First diagnosed at 32, she underwent radical treatments— surgeries, radiation and chemo— and three years later faced metastatic breast cancer that is now ravaging her body.
She is one of the three million women in the U.S. currently facing, or who have been treated for, for breast cancer. She is also one of a growing number of women under 50 getting the disease with no family history of breast cancer.
Many women today live longer with or after the disease due to remarkable advancements in medicine, but treatment is not a path anyone would choose. It takes a heavy emotional and physical toll, and often comes with serious impacts on a women’s life, such as the loss of fertility and the risk of reoccurrence. Medical costs for treatment of breast cancer totaled $17.35 billion in 2012. And even with advances in treatment, in 2012, more than 40,000 women died from the disease.
The question every woman must ask is: “What can I do to prevent the disease for myself or my daughter?” Read More