A friend just told me that she has breast cancer and will be having surgery soon. I am sad but not surprised. More American women have died of breast cancer in the past two decades than all Americans killed in both World Wars, Korea and Vietnam. And the victims are getting younger.
My friend is posturing as a warrior instead of resigning to being a statistic. Investigating causes and treatments, she learned that pesticides used on a field near her job site are known to cause cancer and accumulate in the fatty tissue of breasts. My friend intends to have a specialist check her tissue for those pesticides. Maybe this will be the beginning of accountability for this high-tech violence against women.
The unique design of women's bodies makes us vulnerable to the damaging design of pesticides. Focusing on demanding a cure instead of an end to breast cancer has produced a profitable rise in breast-cancer rates. It seems suspicious that companies that manufacture pesticides also own cancer clinics and profit from producing breast-cancer drugs.
Also, wouldn't California's recent 129% increase in the use of pesticides shown to cause cancer increase the risk for women living in agricultural areas? Tests reveal that breathing air contaminated with some of these pesticides is more hazardous than ingesting them. Breathing and having breasts should not be risk factors for a deadly disease.
In 1999 we should all resolve to protect the next generation of women from increasing breast cancer rates. It is critical that growers and school administrators do everything possible to eliminate pesticide exposure in and around existing schools. And we must stop building more schools and homes near agricultural operations. My friend's parents concur: The life of someone's child depends on it.