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A Decade of Achievement

Zero Breast Cancer was founded a decade ago by Francine Levien and a small but dedicated group of women all with breast cancer who set out on an extraordinary journey with an extraordinary mission of finding the causes for the high rates of breast cancer by involving the community in the process. We focus on identifying environmental factors and the role they play in the development of breast cancer at all stages of life.

Since it’s beginning, Zero Breast Cancer has played a leading role in initiating, motivating and sustaining innovative breast cancer research and educational efforts in Marin County and San Francisco Bay Area. Zero Breast Cancer was the first to:

  • Partner with researchers to conduct a breast cancer research study in Marin County, The Adolescent Risk Factor Study and the Development of Breast Cancer in Marin. This study provided data for additional studies looking further at risk factors, geographic variability, tumor histology, genetic markers and adolescent stress. All of these studies have yielded valuable clues in understanding the breast cancer puzzle in Marin and the Bay Area.

  • Develop and pilot an adolescent peer education breast cancer prevention, risk reduction and education “module” to inform and motivate adolescent girls and boys to reduce their future breast cancer risk by practicing healthy behaviors and minimizing exposures to known environmental carcinogens.

  • Zero Breast Cancer was the driving force that brought the first center to the Bay Area to explore the role environmental factors play in the development of breast cancer, The Bay Area Breast Cancer and Environment Research Center.

  • Additionally, Zero Breast Cancer is the community partner in the first and largest prospective study on breast cancer survivorship in the Bay Area. The study is focusing on lifestyle factors, diet, physical activity, complementary alternative medicine, gene-environmental interactions and their therapeutic role in preventing breast cancer recurrences, increasing survival and enhancing quality of life.

In less than ten years, Zero Breast Cancer has evolved from a grassroots group of women concerned about the high breast cancer incidence rates in Marin County to a nationally recognized community organization that collaborates with scientists and policy makers in breast cancer research.


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