On Feb. 12, the Interagency Breast Cancer and Environmental Research Coordinating Committee (IBCERCC) released the report “Breast Cancer and the Environment: Prioritizing Prevention,” offering seven recommendations to mitigate possible environmental causes of the disease.
The report is a result of the Breast Cancer and Environmental Research Act, which was passed by Congress in October 2008. The act required the U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) to establish the IBCERCC, composed of federal and nonfederal members, to examine the current state of breast cancer and the environment research and make recommendations for eliminating any knowledge gaps.
The committee concluded that “prevention is the key to reducing the burden of breast cancer.” The report states, “Science must seek greater understanding of the environmental and genetic factors that influence risk, susceptibility, and the progression of the disease.”
Based on a review of the state of the science, current programs, and investments by federal agencies and nongovernmental organizations, as well as relevant communication efforts and policies, the IBCERCC recommended the following:
1) Prioritize prevention;
2) Transform how research is conducted;
3) Intensify the study of chemical and physical factors;
4) Plan strategically across federal agencies;
5) Engage public stakeholders;
6) Train transdisciplinary researchers; and
7) Translate and communicate science to society.