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The BCERF program on the Cancer Risks of Environmental Chemicals in the Home and Workplace closed on March 31, 2010. No further updates will be made to this web site. Please go Cornell University’s eCommons web site to access BCERF’s archived research and educational materials (

New York State Teachers and Breast Cancer: Understanding the Knowledge and Perceptions of a Population at Risk
BCERF Research Project

The Study and Subsequent Activities
teachers We designed and carried out a communications study that would help describe what teachers knew and felt about breast cancer risk, and the role of social networks and other external influences in processing those understandings and perceptions. Over 1,100 questionnaires were returned to us. The study is featured in the Winter 2006 edition of The Ribbon. For more information on the study, read the article. BCERF is interested in building an effective, research-based breast cancer risk communication campaign targeted at teachers. A new BCERF Brief is a first step in that effort.

BCERF Brief for Teachers in English and Spanish
Download the first BCERF Brief for Teachers, a new publication resulting from the study

Although BCERF focuses on environmental factors, the topic of this particular Brief is reproductive factors for breast cancer. The reasons are simple: our research with New York State education professionals showed that this population needs more background on the established (largely reproductive) risk factors for breast cancer. This is also important in order to understand many of the emerging hypotheses about environment and breast cancer risk (i.e. exposure to endocrine-disrupting chemicals). Knowledge was quite limited on all reproductive risk factors, including the relationship of breastfeeding to decreased breast cancer risk. We emphasize breastfeeding in the Brief, because with increased knowledge and support the teaching population may have the ability to act on this modifiable risk factor.

For more information, please contact Carmi Orenstein at or (607) 255-1185.