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Environment and cancer: Risks, research and responsibilities

First Aired: August 17, 2014

What causes cancer? That’s the big question that we all face. Research shows that there are some things we can do on our own, like eat right and exercise. But that only covers about 30 percent of the causes. And genetics is even smaller. The “elephant in the living room,” when it comes to cancer causes, is likely our environment – those things that we’re exposed to at various times in our lives. And often, we don’t even known that we’re at risk.

This program features two researchers who have made significant headway in helping us understand how environmental exposures can affect our risk to cancer – specifically, breast cancer. Serena Ryan is a research assistant with Silent Spring Institute in Massachusetts. Her expertise is in environmental science, chemistry and community research. Janet Ackerman is a staff scientist with Silent Spring Institute and has a background in biochemistry and biology. She works with researchers at the University of California at Berkeley and the Environmental Protection Agency to develop ways to test chemicals that may affect your risk to breast cancer.

Learn more about:

Everyday chemical exposures
7 ways to reduce exposure to likely breast carcinogens
Tools for green chemistry

Janet Ackerman

Janet Ackerman

Serena Ryan

Serena Ryan

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