Breast cancer film screening Oct. 13

Posted on: October 5, 2011

Michigan State University breast cancer researchers will be showing the documentary “Living Downstream” followed by a discussion forum with breast cancer researchers and supporters on Oct. 13.

As part of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, the researchers will be screening the film for the community and discussing their research. 

The event will take place from 6-8 p.m. in room 147 Communication Arts and Sciences Building on the MSU campus. It is free and open to the public. The event is sponsored by the Michigan Breast Cancer Coalition (MIBCC) and MSU, with funding from the Breast Cancer and Environment Research Program (BCERP). To reserve a seat, visit

“Living Downstream” focuses on the link between environmental toxins and cancer. Kami Silk, associate professor of communication, is one of the breast cancer researchers at MSU. The feature-length documentary is based on the acclaimed book by ecologist and cancer survivor Sandra Steingraber.

“The movie discusses the scientific findings that link environmental and chemical exposures we encounter on a daily basis that increase cancer rates. Environmental risks account for a significant number of cancer cases and deaths in the U.S. The MIBCC along with MSU want to bring attention to the environmental risks families need to know,” Silk said.

Silk is working with a team of researchers, led by Sandra Haslam. Their research focuses on how high-fat diets and certain chemical exposures, such as non-stick cookware, can increase breast cancer risks. The researchers will be discussing their most recent research and prevention findings. Other members of the panel include MSU Professor Charles Atkin, who studies breast cancer communication, and Valerie Fraser, a member of the MIBCC. Cancer survivors and advocates will also be present for interviewing. 

MSU is a leader in breast cancer research. For example, MSU researchers have identified how the hormones progesterone and estrogen interact to increase cell growth in normal mammary cells and mammary cancers, a novel finding that may explain why postmenopausal women receiving hormone replacement therapy with estrogen plus progestin are at increased risk of breast cancer. In addition, MSU researchers have found that girls eating a high-fat diet during puberty, even those who do not become overweight or obese, may be at a greater risk of developing breast cancer later in life.

For more information about Michigan State University’s Breast Cancer and Environmental Program,

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