Advances in breast cancer science, early detection, and treatment have resulted in improvements in breast cancer survival but not in breast cancer incidence. After skin cancer, breast cancer is the most common cancer diagnosis in the United States. Each year, nearly a quarter million U.S. women receive a breast cancer diagnosis, and the number continues to rise each year with the growth in the population of older women. Although much remains to be understood about breast cancer origins and prevention, action can be taken on the existing scientific knowledge to address the systemic factors that drive breast cancer risk at the population level. The California Breast Cancer Research Program funded a team at Breast Cancer Prevention Partners (BCPP) to convene leaders in advocacy, policy, and research related to breast cancer prevention from across the state of California. The objective was the development of a strategic plan to direct collective efforts toward specific and measurable objectives to reduce the incidence of breast cancer. The structured, innovative approach used by BCPP to integrate scientific evidence with community perspectives provides a model for other states to consider, to potentially change the future trajectory of breast cancer incidence in the United States.
Keywords: California; breast cancer; cancer plan; comprehensive cancer control; environmental exposure; incidence; intervention; policy; primary prevention; risk factor.