Charms to Soothe the Savage Breast
Ten years ago, a group of women headed to Washington, D.C., from their homes in Long Island, N.Y., to demand answers from the government about why so many women from their area were afflicted with breast cancer. Ultimately, the energy, dedication, and political savvy of those women rocketed the Long Island breast cancer story into the national spotlight and mobilized a movement to look for environmental causes of the disease. By far their most impressive success was a 1993 federal law securing about $30 million in funding from the National Cancer Institute to study pollution and breast cancer in Nassau and Suffolk counties, through what became known as the Long Island Breast Cancer Study Project. A decade later, according to a three-day series in Newsday, the project is way behind schedule and has yielded little information, leaving scientists, women’s health advocates, and environmental activists equally frustrated.