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Breast cancer chemical links need investigation

Breast cancer chemical links need investigation

The Green Party is launching a call for a national Breast Cancer Prevention strategy at an event outside Parliament today, to highlight the message that we need to put more effort into stopping breast cancer before it starts.

Health Spokesperson Sue Kedgley says ordinary household products could be contributing to New Zealand’s breast cancer epidemic.

Each year more than 2000 New Zealand women get breast cancer and 650 die from it - and those numbers are growing. New Zealand has the fifth highest breast cancer rates in the world.

While it is well-known that lifestyle factors such as smoking, drinking alcohol and a diet high in fat may contribute to breast cancer, some experts believe oestrogen-mimicking chemicals, which are found in everyday household products, are also partly to blame.

“We need urgent research into whether our exposure to chemicals that mimic oestrogen in everyday use is contributing to our breast cancer epidemic,” Ms Kedgley said.

“They are found in some pesticides, household products and cosmetics that are in daily use, and the cumulative effects of all these daily exposures could pose a significant risk to women. But nothing is being done to reduce our exposure to them, and the government Cancer Control Strategy completely fails to address the issue.”

“The EU and other governments acknowledge the link between endocrine disrupting chemicals and breast cancer, and are taking action about them. Why doesn’t our government?

“We put huge resources into the early detection and treatment of breast cancer, but almost nothing trying to stop it before it starts. We want an equal effort made to prevent women from developing breast cancer as we do into detection and treatment.”

The Green Party has developed a breast cancer prevention strategy, which it wants the Government to adopt.


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