Past Programs

February 12, 2024
Candlelight Tribute

Marin Breast Cancer Watch and Marin Breast Cancer Council hosted a candlelight tribute to all those with breast cancer, to all those who have lost their lives to breast cancer and to all their friends, families and communities. The event was held at the Church of Saint Raphael in San Rafael.

Participating in the tribute was Father Paul Rossi, of Saint Raphael and Cantor David Margules, of Rodef Shalom. The Spanish Choir of Saint Raphael and the Lighthouse Singers donated their musical talent.

February 10, 2024
California Teachers and Breast Cancer: Personal and Environmental Risk Factors

Marin Breast Cancer Watch hosted a free presentation and conversation with Dr. Leslie Bernstein, Ph.D. and Dr. Peggy Reynolds, Ph.D., Principal Co-Investigators of the California Teachers Study. The event was held at the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Marin in San Rafael.

The California Teachers and Breast Cancer: Personal and Environmental Risk Factors community presentation is supported by a grant from the State of California Department of Health Services, Cancer Research Section through the Marin County Department of Health and Human Services.

November 2, 2023
How Do You Find Answers?

This four hour workshop was a primer to learn how to understand the terminology of pathology reports, to learn what options are available, to learn how to get a valuable second opinion, and to learn how to access scientific information. Also covered was a topic on finding an advocate to help navigate the medical system. Featured speakers included: Dr. William H. Goodson, III, a surgeon and Senior Clinical Research Scientist at the California Pacific Medical Research Institute; Dr. Robert Gould, Associate Pathologist at Kaiser Hospital in San Jose; Anne Shew, Assistant Librarian, California Pacific Medical Center Health Science Library; and Mary Beth Faustine, MS, the Breast Care Coordinator for the Department of Health Education at Kaiser Hospital in San Rafael.

This workshop was sponsored by Marin Breast Cancer Watch and supported by a grant from the State of California Department of Health Services, Cancer Research Section through the Marin County Department of Health and Human Services.

September 23, 2023
Breast Cancer: The Genetic Factor
This program was jointly sponsored by Marin Breast Cancer Watch and the Osher Marin JCC's Health & Wellness Program. It featured Dr. Kirsten Moysich, epidemiologist from the Roswell Park Cancer Institute of Buffalo, NY and Robin Lee, MS, genetics counselor from UCSF.

Topics discussed were:

  • Genetic factors in breast cancer
  • Genetics Counseling
  • The meaning of gene-environment interaction
  • How our genetic make-up affects the influence of environmental factors
  • The number of breast cancer genes

These questions were discussed during the free lecture at the Osher Marin JCC. The lecture was part of the program series supported by a grant from the State of California Department of Health Services, Cancer Research Section through the Marin County Department of Health and Human Services.

March 22, 2023
From Eyesore to Cancer Source:
Do antennas deliver more than we bargained for?

The internationally know biophysicist Dr. Neil Cherry was in San Francisco to present the state of the science on health effects of electromagnetic radiation. He presented information linking broadcast towers to cancer incidence in San Francisco neighborhoods, and cell phone antennas to neurological and genetic damage. He also discussed implications for personal cellular phone use.
The event was coordinated by the Council on Wireless Technology Impacts ( and co-sponsored with the Breast Cancer Fund, San Francisco Neighborhood Antenna-Free Union, Breast Cancer Action, Marin Breast Cancer Watch, Center for Environmental Health, and Women's Cancer Resource Center.

February 23, March 18, and March 23, 2023
"Put Breast Cancer On the Map!" Workshops
More than one hundred community members gathered this spring to share their thoughts about possible links between breast cancer and environmental factors at workshops held in Point Reyes, San Rafael, and Corte Madera.
MBCW Board Member Fern Orenstein and member Cynthia Clarkson organized and facilitated the workshops as part of the MBCW Personal Environmental Risk Factor Study. As part of the community-based research project, participants completed surveys and drew maps to illustrate their environmental concerns. The workshops were held in collaboration with the University of California San Francisco and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. The information gathered and the questions raised will be used to design future research and community programs. Many thanks are extended to all participants who attended and so enthusiastically shared their concerns.

March 11, 2023
Dr. Julia Brody, Ph.D.: Environmental Links to Breast Cancer
In a program sponsored by Marin Breast Cancer Watch, Dr. Julia Brody discussed the possible environmental links to breast cancer. The event drew in crowd of 100 concerned citizens to listen to the research that Dr. Brody has been conducting at the Silent Spring Institute in Massachusetts. Dr. Brody is the Executive Director of the Silent Spring Institute, a non-profit scientific institute studying the links between the environment and women's health, especially breast cancer. The Institute was founded in 1994 as an alliance of scientists, activists, physicians, and public officials. The annual budget of $1.5 million supports multi-disciplinary scientific staff with expertise in epidemiology, toxicology, biochemistry, geographic information systems, and environmental health communications. The Institute is funded by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, foundation grants, and private donors. They were awarded a US EPA New England Environmental Merit Award 2000.

February 1, 2024
Hearing Concerning the Incidence of Cancer in Marin
Assemblyman Joe Nation, Chair of the Assembly Select Committee on Cancer Detection, Prevention and Research held a hearing with a panel of eight cancer experts and activists to discuss the high cancer rates, including breast cancer, in Marin County. The event was attended by community members and activists who spoke out and called for policy makers to study the cumulative effects of exposure to chemicals such as pesticides, irradiated foods, chlorinated water, electro-magnetic radiation, cosmetics, bovine growth hormone and meat injected with antibiotics.

February 20, 2023
Breast Cancer and the Environment: CA Senate Committee Hearing
On Wednesday, February 20, 2002, the California State Senate Health & Human Services (H&HS;) Committee, under the leadership of Senator Deborah Ortiz, held an informational hearing on Breast Cancer and the Environment at 1:30 p.m. in the Capitol building. Central to this hearing was the release of State of the Evidence: What is the Connection Between Chemicals and Breast Cancer? © The Breast Cancer Fund and Breast Cancer Action. This paper summarizes the evidence that links synthetic chemicals in the environment to breast cancer, and recommends that it is time to act on this evidence.

Joining The Breast Cancer Fund to co-sponsor the presentation to the H&HS; Committee was Breast Cancer Action, the Bay View Hunter's Point Health and Environmental Assessment Task Force, the Charlotte Maxwell Complementary Clinic, Marin Breast Cancer Watch, and the Women's Cancer Resource Center. Together, we provided expert witnesses and information for the hearing and asserted the need to act on the evidence and reduce cancer-causing chemicals in our bodies and our environment.

To learn more about the event, visit

September 19 - October 17, 2023
Wellness & the Environment Lecture Series
In collaboration with Marin Conservation League, Health Council of Marin, SEED, Health & Habitat, Sustainable Marin and The Pesticide Free Zone Campaign, Marin Breast Cancer watch presented a series of four lectures on how the environment affects the health of men, women, children and pets.  The first two programs on women & children have been presented in March and April of 2001.  The Second two lectures were scheduled for September 19th (Men's health) and October 17th (Pet health).  The lectures took place at the Marin Art and Garden Center, Ross, CA in the Livermore Room.

April 23, 2023
Dr Mark Miller & Dr. Brian Linde,
"Children's Health and the Environment"  Speaking as part of the series on Wellness and the Environment, the two doctors discussed how children differ from adults and are in need of special protection from chemicals in the environment due to their metabolic and developmental differences.  The two  physicians are pediatricians and fathers of young children as well as being co-chair of the Environmental Health Committee, American Academy of Pediatrics, Northern California Chapter.  Read the write-up on their talk in the Summer 2001 Keeping Abreast. 

March 13, 2023
Gina Solomon, M.D., PhD,
"Women's Health and the Environment".  Dr. Solomon,
Senior Scientist at the Natural Resources Defense Council and Assistant Clinical Professor of Medicine at the University of California at San Francisco took a theoretical woman through her day of activities and expanded on the potentially troublesome exposures that she encountered. The lecture was videotaped and is available to borrow from Marin Breast Cancer Watch.  Also you can pick up her book "Generations at Risk."

September 20 -- October 28, 2023
John William Gofman, M.D., PhD, 
"X-Ray Doses as a Cause of Breast and Other Cancer -- What You Can Do About It!"

Dr. Gofman, Professor Emeritus of Molecular and Cell Biology, University of California at Berkeley will give a series of talks in various locations throughout Marin County during the months of September and October.  He will explore his hypothesis that medical radiation is a necessary co-actor in about 75% of the recent and current Breast Cancer incidence (USA).  He further stated in his 1990 book that "by any reasonable standard of biomedical proof," that there is no threshold level (no harmless dose) of ionizing radiation with respect of radiation mutagensis and carcinogensis.  

October 21, 2023
Dr. Samuel Epstein,
"Preventing Breast Cancer"--Reception and meeting at 8:00 pm in connection with the Bioneers  2000 Conference. 
Marin Center, San Rafael, CA.
Dr. Epstein, among the world's most deeply informed experts on the causes and prevention of cancer and a leading critic of the "cancer establishment," offers both personal and political approaches to preventing the epidemic of breast cancer.  Dr. Epstein will present a 1 1/2 hour program at 2:30 on Sunday, October 22, 2023 at the Bioneers conference.  Visit for more information.

September 26, 2023

"Environmental Estrogens:  Should we be Concerned?" with Dr. Ana Soto
Dr. Ana Soto from the center for reproductive research, Tufts University School of Medicine, spoke at  Marin County Civic Center, Board of Supervisors Chambers, 7:00 PM. and appeared as a guest on the Michael Krasney interview radio program on KQED, earlier on the same day.

This world-renowned cellular biologist spoke about her discover of the estrogen-mimicking synthetic chemical, p-nonylphenol.  Dr. Soto shocked herself and the scientific world in the late 1980's when she discovered that a chemical leaching from Corning test tubes in her research laboratory spurred estrogen-sensitive breast cells to rapidly reproduce.  She and her lab partner spent two years trying to determine the chemical composition of the test tubes, as the manufacturer would not divulge the formula.  Eventually, they discovered this synthetic chemical, only to realize that it is routinely used in food processing and packaging, PVC tubing, detergents and even contraceptive creams.  Dr. Soto contends that the pervasiveness of environmental estrogens is most likely to be a factor in expanding our increasing rates of breast cancer.  This meeting was co-sponsored by the Health Council of Marin and Marin Beyond Pesticide Coalition.  ****Video tape of her presentation can be viewed in MBCW office****

January 20, 2024
"nW/cm²  Broadcast Blues"
Lookout Mountain in Golden, Colorado is an example of how the telecommunications and broadcast corporations are taking away private property, ruining our scenic vistas and potentially threatening our health and safety.  Video presentation at Corte Madera Community Meeting Room, Corte Madera CA 7PM.

November 18, 2023
"Environmental Justice and your Health in Richmond and Marin"
Dr. Henry Clark, executive director of West County Toxics Coalition
Marin General Hospital, Conference Center, Greenbrae, CA  7PM

Dr. Henry Clark has been leading the West County Toxics Coalition in Richmond since 1989.   Henry and the activists coalition were able to finally shut down Chevron's toxic incinerator that had been for 30 years (1967-1997) spewing pollution, non-stop into their community.  Though Marin County is separated by water from oil and other chemical processing plants in the East Bay we are not immune from the poisons emanating from there.   All counties in the Bay Area are intimately connected.  It is imperative that we know what is going on in every part of our extended community. 

September 23, 2023
Dr. Marc Lappé — "How Toxic Substances Cause Cancer" 
Dr. Lappé is director of  CETOS, Center for Ethics and Toxics in Gualala, CA
Marin General Hospital, Conference Center, Greenbrae, CA 7PM

Dr. Lappé spoke about the contaminated environment of today and the increased number of cancers in our communities.  "Something very substantial has changed the hormonal milieu in modern times," Lappé said.  He noted that children are reaching puberty years before they reached puberty in the 17th century.  "There is no evolutionary reason why children should be getting cancer," he said.  "With most childhood cancers, the best explanation was that mom was exposed during pregnancy to something."  Lappé called for more research into environmental links to cancer.  "A whole cadre of scientists have dismissed environmental causes of cancer," her said.  "If you include diet, environment is probably 70 to 80 percent."

September 25 & 26, 1999
Cancer as a Turning Point - a free two day conference for people touched by cancer, sponsored by Healing Journeys and Marin General Hospital, Marin Center, San Rafael, Ca. (800) 423-9882

March 18, 2023
Michael Lerner, Commonweal's President—"Cancer—The Age of Extinctions and the Emerging Environmental Health Movement" 
(See the article "Commonweal Founder Advocates Environmental Activism" in KEEPING ABREAST)
Michael Lerner, Commonweal president and one of the country's leading authorities on complementary cancer treatments, urged all who can to become environmental activists and charted a healing course for people living with breast cancer. 

February 23, 2023
Public Forum—"What's Causing Marin County's Breast Cancer Epidemic?"
(See the article "Questioning the Causes" in KEEPING ABREAST)
Opening speakers included:
* Hal Brown, Marin County Supervisor
* Nancy Rubin, Marin County Director of Health and Human Services
* Georgie Farren, M.D., Marin Breast Cancer Watch's Adolescent Study Project Director

November 9, 2023
Lorraine Pace—"What Does the Multi-Million Dollar Long Island Study of Breast Cancer Tell Us About the Epidemic Here in Marin?"
Lorraine Pace, diagnosed and treated for breast cancer in 1990, formed the West Islip Breast Cancer Coalition for Long Island and began to survey women in her neighborhood and map the breast cancer clusters that showed up. The idea of mapping has caught on across Long Island and maps are being modeled on the West Islip project. Lorraine's campaign to find answers has led her to the White House, to Albany, across the state and all over Long Island. She's been featured in Newsday, U.S. News and World Report, USA Today, The New York Times and much more. She appeared in two breast cancer documentaries: "Rachel's Daughters" and "Say It, Fight It, Cure It". She now works with a new national initiative: Breast Cancer HELP (Healthy Environment for a Living Planet). She is responsible for starting over 20 coalitions in the U.S. including Long Island, New York and abroad.

February 17, 2023
Cindy Sage—"Evidence for Electromagnetic Fields as a Potential Risk Factor for Breast Cancer"
Cindy Sage has been involved in EMF issues as an environmental consultant and public policy researcher since 1982. New studies of RADIO FREQUENCIES (CELL PHONES, A.M.,F.M., T.V., COMPUTERS, PAGERS) elicit growing concern whether or not we are protected from adverse health effects related to exposure to antenna. Ms. Sage addressed recent developments in the science and politics of cellular antenna sitings.  Patients with Tamoxifen as part of their treatment may wish to know if they are exposed to high levels of EMF. Some laboratory studies have reported that human breast cancer cells exposed at 6-12 mG EMF show a reduction in the beneficial effect of Tamoxifen. An association between cancers and EMF exposure has been reported in over 110 epidemiological studies.

November 12, 2023
Lee Hitchcox, D. C.—"Strategies for Staying Alive"
* What are the best strategies based on current medical literature, to prevent and treat breast cancer?
* What action can women take to rid their bodies of pesticides, both at the personal and national levels?
* How do pesticides mimic estrogens and what are the implications, both for cancer and premenopausal osteoporosis?

Dr. Hitchcox is a chiropractor with ten years clinical experience. After the loss of several family members to cancer, he devoted 8 years to researching life extension strategies. He is the author of Long Life Now: Strategies for Staying Alive. Dr. Hitchcox has been on the Hunza diet for the last 6 years and plans to compete in the Ironman Triathalon at age 50. He is well known for his lectures on cancer, pesticides, biological age, and extreme longevity cultures.

October 24, 2023
Sandra Steingraber, Ph.D., author of Living Downstream—"An Ecologist Looks at Cancer and the Environment"
Sandra Steingraber, biologist, poet, and survivor of cancer in her twenties, brings all three perspectives to bear on the growing body of evidence linking cancer to environmental contamination. Her scrupulously researched scientific analysis describes worldwide patterns of cancer incidence and the sabotage wrought by cancer-promoting substances on the intricate workings of human cells. In a moving personal narrative, she brings to life stories of communities confronting decades of industrial and agricultural pollution.
Living Downstream is the first book to bring together toxics-release data—now finally made available under right-to-know laws—and newly-released cancer registry data. Sandra Steingraber is also the first to trace with such compelling precision the entire web of connections between our bodies and the world in which we live. Her book strikes a hopeful note, showing us how we can do a great deal to eliminate environmental contributions to cancer. And her brave, clear and careful voice is certain to break the paralyzing silence on this subject that persists more than three decades after Rachel Carson's great early warning.

September 4, 2023
Board Members of Marin Breast Cancer Watch--Report to the Community on the World Conference on Breast Cancer
The World Conference on Breast Cancer was attended by 650 delegates—advocates, scientists, physicians, environmentalists, health organizations, government agencies, and U.N. officials — representing over 50 countries. Delegates gathered together to further understand the causes of the epidemic and current treatment modalities, and to formulate world policy to end this international health crisis. Five of our board members shared first-hand information of workshops and roundtables they attended.

May 29, 2023
Dean Ornish, M.D.—"Can Comprehensive Lifestyle Changes Affect Breast and Prostate Cancer?"
Dr. Ornish is President and Director of the Preventive Medicine Research Institute in Sausalito, California. For the past 20 years, he has directed clinical research demonstrating, for the first time, that comprehensive lifestyle changes may begin to reverse even severe coronary heart disease—without drugs or surgery. He is the author of several best-selling books, including "Dr. Dean Ornish's Program for Reversing Heart Disease," "East More, Weight Less," and "Everyday Cooking with Dr. Dean Ornish." He was selected by Life magazine as one of the 50 most outstanding members of his generation.
Dr. Ornish is currently directing a randomized, control trial—in collaboration with the U.C.S.F, School of Medicine and Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center—designed to determine if comprehensive lifestyle changes scan slow, stop, or reverse the progression of prostate cancer. Since both breast and prostate cancer are hormonally-related, the results of Dr. Ornish's study will have implications for people living with breast cancer.

April 29, 2023
Marin Breast Cancer Watch and Health Council of Marin present an evening with experts on HEALTH CARE WITHOUT HARM.
What is Health Care Without Harm? It is a campaign created by 28 different healthcare and environmental organizations that is attempting to transform the health care industry, by eliminating pollution generated by today's hospital and medical practices, without compromising safety or quality of care. A panel of experts will explain what pollutants are created by the incineration and landfilling of medical waste and how these pollutants can affect your health. We will learn how a medical facilities' interior design and construction materials scan emit harmful toxins and what is being done to prevent the "Sick Building Syndrome" in hospitals.  What is YOUR responsibility as a health care consumer? Health Care Without Harm wants you to become informed and help advocate for change by supporting these actions:
* Pollution prevention practices
* Use of environmentally safe materials, technology and products
* Education of consumers and health works on impacts and solutions

John Barnard, Regulatory Compliance Manager, Integrated Environmental Systems, Oakland
Lexie Rome, Co-director, Sustainable Futures Project, Commonweal, Bolinas
Sandra Ross, Ph.D., President, Health Council of Marin
Lowell Smith, Vic President, Project Development, Sutter/California Health Systems
Karen Susag, Consultant, Endometriosis Association, San Francisco

September 10, 2023
Wendy Tanowitz, Vice President, Marin Breast Cancer Watch presents Report From the East Coast — an update on the Long Island survey, where it stands today, how it relates to Marin.   Nancy Evans , Breast Cancer Action - reporting on her testimony in Washington, D.C. before the Senate Cancer Coalition hearing on breast cancer and her travels on the East Coast while filming Rachel's Daughters.

July 16, 2023
Marion Moses, M.D., Founder of the Pesticide Education Center—"Designer Poisons: How to Protect Your Health & Home from Toxic Pesticides"
Safer alternatives to dangerous pesticides. Pesticides linked to breast cancer and cancer in children. Why you should not use foggers, bombs, aerosols. Pesticides you should not use under any circumstances.

June 6, 2023
Marin Breast Cancer Watch presents a TOWN HALL MEETING
* Find out about the direction of our group and about current/upcoming projects
* What work do you think needs to be done?
* How would you like to become involved?
* Share your best thinking on how to build on effective organization
* Bring any donations you may for the yard sale!

May 7, 2023
Don Flint, Associate Director of The Cancer Project at Commonweal—

* Guidelines for Choosing
* How to Locate Resources: Chinese Medicine - Stress Reduction - Diet - Psychological Support

April 30, 2023
Michael W. DeGregorio, Pharm.D.
"Everything you wanted to know about TAMOXIFEN and Breast Cancer but were afraid to ask"

March 26, 2023
THE SILENCE IS OVER! The Power of Breast Cancer Activism.
An evening with Lorraine Pace, breast cancer survivor and founder of Breast Cancer H.E.L.P. (Health Environment for a Living Planet).  When Lorraine Pace was diagnosed with breast cancer, she already knew 20 women with breast cancer—all of whom lived in West Islip. She wanted to find out why. So she formed the West Islip Breast Cancer Coalition, which pioneered community mapping of breast cancer on many Long Island towns and she continues to organize communities to do this type of work. Her tireless efforts have resulted in important federally-funded studies of organochlorines and electromagnetic fields in relation to breast cancer. A former real estate agent, Lorraine is now breast cancer education specialist at the University Medical Center of the State University of New York at Stony Brook.