The Green Solution to Breast Cancer

A Promise for Prevention

by Kristen Abatsis McHenry, PhD


In 1964, the lifetime risk of breast cancer for women was 1 in 20. Today, it is 1 in 8.

Print Flyer
Cover image for The Green Solution to Breast Cancer

September 2015


Pages 181
Volumes 1
Size 6 1/8x9 1/4
Topics Health & Wellness/Public Health
  Women's Studies/General

This unique, research-based investigation of the U.S. breast cancer movement compares the "pink" and "green" efforts within the movement and documents their use of similar citizen-science alliances, despite the contention over the use of consumer-based activism and pink products.

Breast cancer activism is one of the most flourishing research and health advocacy movements in U.S. history. Yet the incidence of breast cancer is continuing to increase. This critical and revealing text investigates breast cancer activism in its two forms—the "pink movement" that focuses on developing awareness of, coping with, and managing breast cancer; and the "green movement" that strives to determine the possible environmental causes of breast cancer—such as pesticides, chemicals, and water and air pollution—and thereby hopes to prevent breast cancer.

What caused this new green movement to develop? Will it replace or merge with the pink movement? Does either approach offer more promise for a solution? And how do the two movements differ in their positions or methodology towards a similar goal? With information culled from interviews with more than 50 industry stakeholders, The Green Solution to Breast Cancer: A Promise for Prevention argues that key attributes such as strategy, mission, and branding have led to a greater convergence between the pink and green wings of the movement and presents information that enables readers to consider if either approach might be the shorter route to beating breast cancer.


    • Examines research findings that suggest that the pink and green aspects of the breast cancer movement are no longer separate but in fact are converging towards a focus on environmental prevention
    • Provides an in-depth examination of advocacy organizations and the ways in which an organization's structure and ideology shape its agenda and strategies
    • Looks critically at controversial aspects of the consumerism of the pink movement, the small portion of sales actually given to cancer research, and other shortcomings of this attempt to shop our way out of a nonetheless still-increasing disease
    • Presents valuable information for upper level undergraduate and graduate students in political science within American politics or health politics courses as well as those studying women's and gender studies, sociology, nursing, and non-profit enterprises
Author Info

Kristen Abatsis McHenry, PhD, is a faculty member at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth in the Women's and Gender Studies Department. She earned her doctorate in political science from the University of Massachusetts Amherst and holds a master's degree in women's and gender studies from Georgia State University. Her research interests include women's health, environment, and breast cancer advocacy. Her publications include topics related to women's health, environment, and social movement organizations.



"This book provides a good overview of the breast cancer movement, clearly introduces and compares government agencies and organizations, and extends the work of other authors who have critically examined 'pink ribbon politics' and controversies and past emphasis on lifestyle choices and genetic predisposition. . . . Summing Up: Recommended. Lower-division undergraduates through graduate students."Choice

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