Breast Cancer Research

Note: The program on Breast Cancer and Environmental Risk Factors (BVERF) will end June 2009. The research created by Nellie Brown for this program is displayed in this website.

This project is conducted for the Program on Breast Cancer and Environmental Risk Factors (BCERF, Sprecher Institute for Comparative Cancer Research of Cornell College of Veterinary Medicine) for which I work under the direction of Dr. Suzanne Snedecker.

I research and compile information on the types of industries, jobs, tasks, and actual work practices which would result in past or present occupational exposure to the 42 chemicals currently known to be breast carcinogens. For this project, I have developed a "cradle to cradle" approach so as to capture information on occupational exposures involved in recycling, composting, remediation of hazardous waste sites, wastewater treatment, and other technologies for the recovery or reuse of materials.

This information will be placed in a new database for use by occupational physicians and nurses, safety and health professionals, labor safety and health activists, breast cancer advocates, and others.

I presented an overview of my work at the BCERF Regional Cancer and Environment Forum in Albany in September, 2005, and in Buffalo in June, 2006, at Roswell Park Memorial Cancer Institute.

I was interviewed on this project for: The Ribbon 10(4): 5, a newsletter of the Cornell University Program on Breast Cancer and Environmental Risk Factors (BCERF), available on the web.

Full research on the Alert for Women Firefighters BCERF Alert for Women Firefighters.


BCERF Alert for Women Firefighters Brochure (PDF, 2 MB) by Nellie Brown and Suzanne Snedecker, Spring 2008.
Description: There are many risk factors for breast cancer. Exposures to certain chemicals have been identified as possible risk factors for breast cancer. Exposure to some of these chemicals may occur during firefighting activities. This brochure is designed to help you understand how you may be exposed to these chemicals in your work, and encourages you to use proper protection to minimize exposures during all phases of firefighting.

BCERF Alert for Women Firefighters Poster (PDF, 8 MB), including a Spanish version (PDF, 6 MB).