07/06/2012 04:02 EDT | Updated 09/05/2012 05:12 EDT

Food for Thought About Breast Cancer


Last week, hundreds of Toronto residents gathered with friends and family on a beautiful summer evening in David Pecaut Square to participate in a flash-mob event entitled Cook for the Cure PinkNic. In traditional picnic fashion, participants brought and shared their own food, and the event benefitted the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation.

Wednesday, the Huffington Post picked up a blog post by Meghan Telpner, which described her impressions of the PinkNic. I'd like to correct some inaccuracies and share some information about the event and the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation.

The PinkNic, the first event of its kind in Cook for the Cure's 10 year history, saw attendees bringing a wide range of dishes to share. While Cook for the Cure does provide information on healthy eating to participants, CBCF is a community-based charity and in that spirit, attendees made their own choices about what food to bring. Even a cupcake recipe handed out to participants included a healthy eating message and a link to our website for nutrition and diet information.

CBCF does in fact provide information on reducing the risk of breast cancer including diet, the possible risk of some cosmetics and other chemicals.

CBCF-Ontario has a comprehensive risk reduction campaign which provides information on those very issues. We have also made investments in research on potential environmental risk factors for breast cancer. The pioneering work of Drs. Jim Brophy and Margaret Keith investigating workplace environmental influences in breast cancer has been funded by CBCF-Ontario for several years. You can read more about their work in this report.

In recent months, CBCF provided grants to researchers in Canada who have made headlines around the world. Our B.C./Yukon and Prairies/N.W.T. regions funded research that has decoded the genetic make-up of triple negative breast cancer, the most challenging breast cancer to treat. The results could lead to more effective treatment of the disease. Funding in the Atlantic Region led to a globally recognized discovery that the measles virus can infect and kill breast cancer cells, as well as other cancer cells. This breakthrough may result in new treatments for breast cancer (read more on page two of this report).

The Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation is the leading community-driven organization in Canada dedicated to creating a future without breast cancer. Since our inception, we have invested some $274 million in our cause by funding relevant, impactful and innovative research and supporting and advocating for the breast cancer community. We know much work remains to be done. In 2012, it is estimated 22,700 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer. With the support of our community, we will continue to make progress and make a difference.