Nola’s Story

In November of 2010, at the age of 35, I was diagnosed with breast cancer. It had spread to my lymph nodes but thankfully not to the rest of my body. I endured five months of physically and mentally debilitating chemo, a mastectomy, and five weeks of daily radiation. All the while we taught my … Read more…

Breast Cancer Fund Director of Science Elected Chair of the California Breast Cancer Research Program Council

Sharima Rasanayagam, Ph.D., the director of science at the Breast Cancer Fund, has been elected chair of the California Breast Cancer Research Program (CBCRP) Council, and begins her one-year term on September 1. For nearly a decade, the Breast Cancer Fund has played a leadership role in CBCRP, which is the largest state-funded breast cancer … Read more…

New study stokes debate about early-stage breast cancer treatments, shines light on need for primary prevention

  By Breast Cancer Fund Director of Science Sharima Rasanayagam, Ph.D. A new study, published in JAMA Oncology, found that aggressive treatments (surgery followed by radiation therapy) of ductal carcinoma in situ, or DCIS, did not lead to a reduction in death. While the study sparks questions about how DCIS should be classified and treated, … Read more…

Five facts about cancer-causing chemicals in L’Oreal products

Our Campaign for Safe Cosmetics found seven chemicals linked to cancer in L’Oreal products including benzophenone-1; titanium dioxide; and four formaldehyde-releasing preservatives. In addition, the Campaign found four ingredients that were possibly contaminated with the known cancer-causing chemicals PFOA, acrylamide and asbestiform fibers. The Campaign found these chemicals in: shampoos , nail polishes, eye liners, … Read more…

The Count– 324 days into this mess by Nola Agha

This story appeared in The Day My Nipple Fell Off and Other Stories of Survival, Solidarity, and Sass: A BAYS Anthology. You can order a copy on Amazon. The count – 324 days into this mess by Nola Agha 1 mutated gene 1 breast removed 1 time I fainted 2 times I almost fainted 2 … Read more…

Top 10 tips to prevent breast cancer

Welcome to Breast Cancer Awareness month, when pink ribbons cover everything from toxic cosmetics to BPA-lined food cans, urging us to be aware of breast cancer. But when 1 in 8 women will be diagnosed with the disease, how much more awareness do we need? The Breast Cancer Fund is working to shift the conversation … Read more…

Are lipsticks dangerous? (CNN, 4/4/2014)

Sharima Rasanayagam This article, which was written by Breast Cancer Fund Director of Science Sharima Rasanayagam, appears on CNN.com.  Every day millions of women apply lipstick without a second thought. What many don't know is that lipsticks may contain lead, the notorious metal that can cause learning, language and behavioral problems. Lead is a neurotoxin … Read more…

CHEMICALS: Ob-gyn engagement on toxics law reform seen as major step (Greenwire,12/24/2013)

The burden of proof needs to shift. Right now, it’s on my patients and it’s on me. We need to get to where we’re shown that things are safe before we use them…

Walmart aims to reduce 10 toxic chemicals, but won’t divulge which (The Guardian, 12/19/2013)

Walmart says it will cut down on toxic chemicals used in household products, but it won’t tell us which chemicals it’s targeting…

Target aims for healthier products under veil of secrecy (The Guardian, 12/18/2013)

Working with GoodGuide, Target will rank products for health and sustainability, but won’t share those scores with the public