History of Breast Cancer


Breast Cancer believed to be completely removed at Early Stages by Surgery

1601 - 1700

Greek Doctor, Galen wrote on surgical cures for breast cancer. Avoidance of removal deemed to be due to the immense pain of surgery (before anesthesia).

Reported High Incidence of Breast Cancer in Nuns


Created conversation on importance of hormones, like the changes connected to pregnancy as well as sexually transmitted disease. Brought to attention by Italian Doctor, Bernadino Ramazzini.

Smoking Causes Lung Cancer

Approx. 1761

John Hill publishes "Cautions against the Immediate use of Snuff" sharing tobacco and cancer links. Further recognized in 1964.

Public Health Measures in the Workplace


Measures taken to reduce cancer risks in the workplace after occupational increases of cancer in chimney sweepers apparent in London hospitals initially identified by, Sir Percival Potts.

Birth of Scientific Oncology with the use of a Modern Microscope

1801 - 1900

Flourish of Surgical Operations


Radical mastectomy became commonly used with the introduction of anesthesia, and the "Century of the Surgeon".

Radiation Treatment


Radiation therapy discovered.

Knowledge of Cancer Causes


Discovery and understanding of viral and chemical carcinogens.

PAP Test Introduced


Early detection for cervical cancer introduced, and recommended by 1960 for preventative measures.

Development of Chemoptherapy


Nitrogen mustard discovered to work against cancer of lymph nodes.

Modern Mammography Methods


Screening and early detection for abnormalities, recommended by 1976.

Understanding of DNA & Genes


Able to pinpoint site of damage. Finding that cancer cells with damaged DNA do not die.

Understanding the role of Oncogenes and Tumour Suppressor Genes with Cancer


Oncogenes: Cells grow out of control and become cancer cells
Tumour Suppressor Genes: Normal cells which slow down cell division, repair DNA errors, and programmed cell death.

Promotion of Less Extensive Surgeries


Modern clinical trials showed that it was equally as effective for most women with breast cancer to perform less invasive surgeries, minimizing tissue removed. Lumpectomy and Modified Radical Mastectomy encouraged over radical mastectomy.

Progress in Imaging Testing


Ultrasound (sonography), Computed Tomography (CT scans), Magnetic ResponseImaging (MRI scans) & Position Imaging Tomography (PET scans) developed.

DES (synthetic estrogen) is Discontinued in Medical Use


DES was shown and reported high cases of vaginal cancer in young adults that were exposed in-utero during their mothers first trimester. The drug was used to prevent miscarriages during 1940-1970 and further used until 1979 for muscle growth in cattle.

Growth Signal Inhibitors used in Chemotherapy Drugs


First use of "Targeted Therapy"

Canadian Breast Cancer Mortality Rates 41.7 per 100,000 Women


High rates of deaths due to breast cancer

Breast Cancer Action Organization Develops


Health justice for women at risk of and living with breast cancer.

The Pink Ribbon Campaign Begins


Involvement of women actively bringing attention to breast cancer openly.

Immunotherapy used in Chemotherapy


Monoclonal antibodies, Rituxan & Herceptin approved to treat breast cancer.

National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences calls for further Research on Health Effects on EDC's


In correlation to the Office of Research on Women's Health, proposals for health effects and other disruption of normal endocrine systems are granted.

Breast Cancer Action Successfully calls for Release of Data Showing High Dose Chemotherapy/ Bone Marrow Transplant


Shown to be ineffective for breast cancer patients.

Breast Cancer Action Opposes use of Tamoxifen in Healthy Women


Used for reducing risk (prior).

National Toxicology Program Announces low-levels of "Hormone- like- chemicals" affecting test animals


bodily functions of animals showing change at levels far below the "no-effect" levels that were development in tradtional testing.

Research Confirms Concerns about Hormone Replacement Therapy & Risk of Breast Cancer


Millions of Women taken off HRT to reduce risk of breast cancer.

Angiogenesis Inhibitors used for Treatment


Another use of targeted therapy. Stopping tumour growths by stopping blood vessel growth to tumours. First proposed in 1970.

California Safe Cosmetics Act of 2005 Enacted


Requires the manufacturer, packer, and/or distributor to provide a list of all cosmetic products that contain any ingredients known or suspected to cause cancer or developmental or other reproductive harm.

Breast Cancer Action Initiated First National Breast Cancer Research Summit


Canadian Breast Cancer Incidence Rates 83.2 per 100,000 Women


Incident rates continue to increase.

Canadian Breast Cancer Mortality Rates 15.6 per 100,000 Women


World Health Organization develops list of 800 known EDC's


Documented and published in the Global Assesment of Endocrine Disruptors. Endocrine disruptors listed and documented as "vast majority of EDC;'s have not been tested" stating research has just begun.

Think Before You Pink Campaign


Transparency and accountability from companies that take part. Fundamental problems with pink ribbon marketing.

World Health Organization (IARC)


Identified more than 100 Chemical, Biological and Physical Carcinogens.

Canadian Breast Cancer Mortality Rates (projected as) 23.4 per 100,000 Women


Significantly lower incidence rates than deaths. Relatively close to 2015 statistics showing 23.8 per 100,000 incidences.

Canadian Breast Cancer Incidence Rates 130.1 per 100,000 Women


Incidence rates at their highest (currently).

Breast Cancer Rates