25 years of putting women’s health first

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Karuna Jaggar 2013By Karuna Jaggar, Executive Director

This year marks Breast Cancer Action’s 25th anniversary – 25 years as the watchdog for the breast cancer movement.

For 25 years, we have challenged the status quo in breast cancer to ensure that women’s health comes first. Since our fearless founders came together to create Breast Cancer Action, we have been driven and supported by people like YOU. And we’ve grown from 8 founders to a grassroots membership of 60,000 today.

Here are just a few highlights of the important work we’ve done together in 25 years:

Breast Cancer Action established breast cancer activists as a radical force to be reckoned with. Partnering with AIDS activists from ACT UP Golden Gate, founding members of BCAction drove onto the lawns of Genentech to demand, through direct action, compassionate access to Herceptin, then an experimental drug awaiting approval by the FDA.

thinkbeforeyoupinklogoBreast Cancer Action launched a movement for accountability and transparency in pink ribbon fundraising when we created Think Before YouPink® in 2002 to challenge pinkwashing hypocrisy. The campaign’s been featured in media outlets from The New York Times to the documentary Pink Ribbons, Inc., to The Daily Show with Jon Stewart. Campaigns like “Yoplait: Put a Lid On It” and “What the Cluck?” fundamentally change the way people think about pink ribbon fundraising and hold corporations accountable for their role in fueling and profiting from the breast cancer epidemic.

Frackdown5Breast Cancer Action has worked tirelessly to stop cancer before it starts. From our early work to help found the Toxic Links Coalition, to pushing for the Safe Cosmetics Act and reform of the Toxic Substances Control Act, to our current leadership in the anti-fracking movement, we are committed to addressing the environmental links to breast cancer.

SCOTUS RallyBreast Cancer Action has made a difference in the lives of tens of thousands of women.Through our Information & Resources service, we’ve provided compassionate one-on-one support and resources to over 25,000 women. We support women across the country, whether they’ve been newly diagnosed with breast cancer and want help understanding their treatment options, are in need of health resources or a listening ear, have questions about mammography screening or environmental toxins – and our service will always be free, evidence-based, and free of industry influence.

Breast Cancer Action has made history by putting patients first. For over two decades, we have been committed to holding the Food and Drug Administration accountable, demanding that new treatments and devices are more effective, less toxic and more affordable. We were a plaintiff in the historic case decided by the U.S. Supreme Court in 2013 that put an end to corporate control of the “breast cancer genes.”

Cancer Sucks buttonWe’ll have many ways to honor our two and a half decades of activism this year. We’re starting with giving away a free “Cancer Sucks” button to the first 250 members who request one. If you agree that “Cancer Sucks,” get your free button here.

P.S. In October 2015, we’ll be hosting a 25th Anniversary event in San Francisco to pay tribute to past achievements and unite around our vision for achieving health justice for all women at risk of and living with breast cancer. Keep an eye out for a Save the Date announcement!


  1. kathy
    Posted May 7, 2015 at 8:17 am | Permalink

    you mention in an email that your organization just sent me that you have a better screening protocol than the industry. I’m interested in seeing it, since the standard industry screening , doesn’t meet my needs. However, I could not locate it on your website. Please forward it to me. Thanks!

  2. caitlin
    Posted May 13, 2015 at 1:16 pm | Permalink

    Hi Kathy,
    If you’re looking for our “Should I Get a Mammogram?” Understanding the Harms and Benefits of Routine Breast Cancer Screening” brochure, you can view it here: http://bcaction.org/resources/breast-cancer-action-toolkits/

  3. Posted May 25, 2015 at 4:21 pm | Permalink

    So glad that this organization is standing up for women. I particularly like the Think Before You Pink, since it is crazy how the corporations make a killing (literally) promoting the pink ribbon. Thank you.

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