Friday, September 30, 2005

The Breast Views Blog: At My Mother's Breast

At My Mother's Breast
Heather Watson-Burgess, Canada

Mon. Oct 3, 8:45pm, Granville 7
Wed. Oct 5, 10:30am, Granville 7

Filmmaker Heather Watson-Burgess describes herself as "the daughter of a woman with breast cancer, who is the daughter of a woman with breast cancer, who is the daughter of a woman with breast cancer." Her destiny clear to her from a very young age, the filmmaker turns the camera on her own family to capture the love, support, grief and the difficult choices that have to be made when breast cancer is part of the family legacy. She interviews her aunts (all of whom have had breast cancer), her cousins (all of whom are daughters of women with breast cancer) and takes us inside a family wherein mother-daughter dynamics are turned upside-down, where the level of honesty and support is truly inspiring and where difficult questions have to be asked and answered. A directorial debut, At My Mother's Breast is a beautifully insightful and poignant film.

Playing at the Vancouver International Film Festival
Sue Richards

Thursday, September 29, 2005

The Breast Views Blog: Greenpeace - The Chemical House

Here's a nifty little exercise from Greenpeace. Find out where your brand of television, bedding, lipstick, floor covering and so on fits in on the toxic chemical scale.

Greenpeace - The Chemical House

Sue Richards
Please join the band of jolly bloggers who host the Breast of Canada Banner on their blog site.

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

The Breast Views Blog: Primary Prevention of Breast Cancer

This morning I got a press release from my writer friend Liz Armstrong from It originally came from Women's Environmental Network: UK Working Group on the Primary Prevention of Breast Cancer.

This paragraph jumped out.

"Women have been sold the myth that breast cancer is normal and inevitable. It's not," says Diana Ward - primary author of The Case. "Breast Cancer is preventable, but Government and the cancer industry determinedly ignore the evidence. How much longer must we sit by and let this disease take more and more women?" says Ward."

Primary prevention is NOT treatment. Primary prevention focuses on reducing man-made chemicals and radiation that are major causes of breast cancer that get routinely released into our environment by out industry and sanctioned by our government.

Women expose the silence that kills

Something to chew on. Try not to choke.

Sue Richards

Other pithy, pesky, prodding blogs that I consume myself with.
Calendar Girl Blog
My Menopause Blog

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

The Breast Views Blog: New Car Smell

Although this story does not specifically state anything about breast cancer I believe it may still be eye opening for those of you who believe that 'Big Brother' is looking out for you.
The Globe and Mail: Don't inhale in new car

I found the on-line comments particularly revealing.

Sue Richards

Other pithy, pesky, prodding blogs that I consume myself with.
Calendar Girl Blog
My Menopause Blog

Monday, September 26, 2005

The Breast View Blog: Topfree Equal Rights Association

Here a link to the most recent news relating to topfreedom.

Topfree Equal Rights Association

Sue Richards

Other pithy, pesky, prodding blogs that I consume myself with.
Calendar Girl Blog
My Menopause Blog

The Breast Views Blog: Breast of Canada in the Toronto Sun

The 2006 Breast of Canada Calendar got a 1/3 page of photo space plus this story in Friday's Toronto Sun.
What to buy for Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

Sue Richards

Friday, September 23, 2005

The Breast Views Blog: How To Do Something!

All this talk of cancer getting under your skin? Feel like you want to DO SOMETHING, but don't know where to start?

Well here is a nifty list of 15 points for starting a campaign.

Preparing For A Campaign

Sue Richards

Other pithy, pesky, prodding blogs that I consume myself with.
Calendar Girl Blog
My Menopause Blog

Thursday, September 22, 2005

The Breast Views Blog: Cars and Cancer

Activist Liz Armstrong assists me in the writing of the Breast of Canada Calendar each year. She's also a strong and active voice for 'stopping cancer before it starts.'

So what about cars. Certainly ubiquitous. But did you ever stop to think, they are cancer causing too? - Cars and Cancer

Sue Richards

Other pithy, pesky, prodding blogs that I consume myself with.
Calendar Girl Blog
My Menopause Blog

The Breast Views: Women and Health Protection - Links

On the off chance you're keen to keep more abreast of breaking news about busts, here's an excellent list of women's health links from across the country and beyond.
Women and Health Protection - Links

Sue Richards
Boob to boob connections.

Other pithy, pesky, prodding blogs that I consume myself with.
Calendar Girl Blog
My Menopause Blog

The Breast Views Blog: Women and Health Protection - Breast Implants

As follow up to yesterday's post.
Press Release: Financial conflict of interest for members on breast implant advisory panel unacceptable

Sue Richards
The Breast News, all the time.

Other pithy, pesky, prodding blogs that I consume myself with.
Calendar Girl Blog
My Menopause Blog

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

The Breast Views Blog: Breast Implants Public Forum: Concerns about Health Canada's Process

Conflict of interest is an insidious issue that requires constant vigilance. Here's a classic case unfolding on the breast implant issue.

Breast Implants Public Forum: Concerns about Health Canada's Process

Sue Richards

Other pithy, pesky, prodding blogs that I consume myself with.
Calendar Girl Blog
My Menopause Blog

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

The Breast Views Blog: Disease Mongering

For Immediate Release

"Disease mongering" by pharmaceutical companies threatens to bankrupt Canada's public health system

Authors of new book warn that drug company marketing techniques are turning us all into patients

Daily media articles say that the Canadian public health system is in jeopardy, and fingers are pointed at everything from doctor shortages to government mismanagement and bureaucratic greed. But Ray Moynihan and Alan Cassels, authors of the new book, Selling Sickness: How the world's biggest pharmaceutical companies are turning us all into patients, point the finger at another cause: drug company funded disease creation.

Using their dominating influence in the world of medical science, drug companies are working to widen the very boundaries that define illness. Mild problems are painted as serious disease, so shyness becomes a sign of social anxiety disorder and pre-menstrual stress a mental illness redefined as pre-menstrual dysphoric disorder. Everyday sexual difficulties are seen as sexual dysfunctions, the natural change of life is a disease of hormone deficiency called menopause, and distracted office workers now have adult ADD. Just being 'at risk' by having an elevated blood pressure or cholesterol level has become a 'disease' in its own right.

"Too often the aim is to lower the bar and turn healthy people into patients," says Alan Cassels, co-author of Selling Sickness, and drug policy researcher at the University of Victoria in British Columbia. "And lowering the bar makes more and more of us candidates for the latest pills promoted by the pharmaceutical industry."

Selling Sickness reveals how expanding the boundaries of illness and lowering the threshold for treatments is creating millions of new patients and billions in new profits, in turn threatening to bankrupt national healthcare systems all over the world. Canada's publicly funded healthcare system is not immune.

"From their domination of guideline committees, their involvement in physician 'education' and their marketing of fear to consumers, the pharmaceutical industry is using its immense power to drive more and more of us towards another prescription," warns Cassels. And, he notes, "a health system that allows drug companies to play a role in defining who is sick is fundamentally unhealthy."

With many health problems, there are people at the severe end of the spectrum suffering genuine illness, or at very high risk of it, who may benefit greatly from a medical label and a powerful medication. But for the relatively healthy people who are spread across the rest of the spectrum, a label and a drug may bring great inconvenience, enormous costs, and the very real danger of rare but deadly side effects.

As the authors of Selling Sickness note, with plenty of detail, pharmaceutical company marketing executives don't sit down and actually write the rules for how to diagnose illness, but they increasingly underwrite those who do. The industry now routinely sponsors key medical meetings, in Canada and around the world, where disease definitions are debated and updated. Eight of the nine 'experts' who created the most recent cholesterol guidelines in the US had undisclosed ties to the pharmaceutical industry. The new guidelines shifted the definition of 'high' cholesterol so drastically that it meant another 40 million Americans should be taking cholesterol-lowering drugs. In Canada, recent guideline changes to cholesterol treatment, if implemented, would put 500,000 more people on cholesterol-lowering drugs.

Added to this is the fact that the bulk of clinical trials on new medication is funded directly by the drug manufactures rather than the public or not-for-profit sources. And that this research is then disseminated at scientific meetings, events and conferences sponsored by the pharmaceutical industry, and often hosted by medical societies or patient groups that are themselves partially underwritten by drug companies. "The reach and the scale of the industry's influence is really quite breathtaking in its scope," notes Cassels.

"Many Canadians would be horrified to know that drug company money is also involved in funding much of the Continuing Medical Education of Canadian physicians. Yet I feel that we are never going to achieve rational prescription drug use in this country until we get the drug money out of our medical education system," argues Cassels.

And then there is the barrage of drug advertisements that hit consumers
every time they turn on the TV. While direct-to-consumer advertising of
prescription drugs is illegal in Canada, drug manufacturers here mount
'disease awareness campaigns,' which constantly urge you to 'see your
doctor' for practically everything. "There are many different
promotional strategies used in the selling of sickness, but the common
factor amongst them all is the marketing of fear," says Cassels.

Soaring sales have made drug companies the most profitable corporations on the planet during particular years of this past decade. But the flip side of healthy returns for shareholders is the unsustainable increase in costs for those funding the health system. Selling Sickness tells us that we need the pendulum to swing back towards a rational and appropriate use of pharmaceuticals for everyone who is sick. "Our health care system will collapse if we continue to allow for-profit enterprises to define who is sick and who needs treatment," says Cassels. "Now is the time to start having the conversation about whether we want to continue to allow pharmaceutical greed, not appropriate need, to be driving our health care expenditures."

For author interviews, contact:
Alan Cassels
Cell: 250-888-7992

About the Authors: Alan Cassels is a drug policy researcher at the University of Victoria, in British Columbia. He has spent most of the last ten years studying how clinical research about prescription drugs is communicated to policy makers, prescribers and consumers, and has produced several full-length documentaries for CBC Ideas, including "Manufacturing Patients," which deals with the subject of selling sickness.

Ray Moynihan has been covering the business of health care for almost a decade as an award-winning broadcast journalist and more recently with the British Medical Journal. He is a regular contributor to the New England Journal of Medicine and the Lancet and was a Harkness Fellow in health care policy based at Harvard University.

Selling Sickness: How the world's biggest pharmaceutical companies are turning us all into patients by Ray Moynihan and Alan Cassels is published in Canada by Greystone Books (2005) and in the US by Avalon Publishing Group,

Other pithy, pesky, prodding blogs that I consume myself with.
Calendar Girl Blog
My Menopause Blog

Monday, September 19, 2005

The Breast Views Blog: Early Stage Breast Cancer

10 Years Clear: An overview of chemotherapy treatments for early-stage breast cancer is a one-hour web cast/teleconference brought to you by The Canadian Breast Cancer Network. It's designed to help Canadian breast cancer patients and their family and friends better understand recent advances in chemotherapy treatments for early-stage breast cancer.

Sue Richards

Other pithy, pesky, prodding blogs that I consume myself with.
Calendar Girl Blog
My Menopause Blog

Friday, September 16, 2005

The Breast Views Blog: Real women use thigh creams?

If you'd like to read a range of comments about the previous post Real Women Have Curves then click on this blog. Strong Women Daily News.

Sue Richards
AKA: Calendar Girl

The Breast Views Blog: Campaign for Real Beauty

This from DOVE the soap people.Real Women Have Real Curves.

Hmmmmm. I'm thinking. Maybe they could drop the word 'real'.

Sue Richards
Be it.

Other pithy, pesky, prodding blogs that I consume myself with.
Calendar Girl Blog
My Menopause Blog

The Breast Views Blog: Bras Across the Water

An unusual effort to raise money for the Minnie Pearl Cancer Foundation.

Bras Across The Water

I kid you not.

Sue Richards
Ain't no mountain high enough.

The Breast Views Blog: Moms and Breast Health

The folks at Kidzwire have reported a new digital mammography that works on younger women.Kidzwire Story

Sue Richards
All Ages Breast Health

Thursday, September 15, 2005

The Breast Views Blog: BodyBurden

We've heard much about the polluting of our lakes, rivers, air and land. Now scientists are looking at the pollution in people. Commonly referred to as a persons' body burden, (not to be confused with the extra 15 you packed on this summer), studies indicate that what goes into our bodies does not always find its way out.

Studying pollution in people. The findings are troubling.

Sue Richards
Keeping abreast.

The Breast Views Blog: Safe Hair

Here are some stats from Environmental Working Group that are a tad hair raising.

Perhaps our beauty products are more than beautifying??
  • *69 percent of hair-dye products may pose cancer risks
  • *76 percent of conditioners contain ingredients that are allergens
  • *93 percent of shampoos possibly contain harmful impurities linked to cancer or other health problems.
And yes, there are links to breast cancer.

Safe, Not Sorry, Hair: The Case for Nontoxic Shampoos, Conditioners and Colors

Sue Richards

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

The Breast Views Blog: Bill Introduced to Fund Cancer Screenings for Low-Income Women

A low income families health care options are often compromised by lack of money. This U.S. bill is meant to help improve that situation.
Feminist Daily News: Bill Introduced to Fund Cancer Screenings for Low-Income Women

Sue Richards

The Breast Views Blog: Kimberly Stewart Retires Her Boobs

The idea of retiring usually refers to a later life choice. But Kimberly (Rod's daughter) Stewart gave her breast implants early retirement at the age of 25.

Twenty Five.

She claims, "It's just so much easier".

Get the full scoop. I'm older now.

Sue Richards

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

The Breast View Blog: Calendar Media Release

For Immediate Release
September 13, 2005
Guelph, ON, Canada

Fifth Annual Breast of Canada Calendar 2006
Definitely Guaranteed to Inspire Conversation

Here at Breast of Canada Headquarters, we hold the liberating belief that ‘normal is beautiful’. To prove our point, we publish the annual Breast of Canada Calendar, a breast health educational tool, featuring fine art photographs of a broad range of breasts.

Feedback has been strong. Over the last 5 year’s, countless calendar owners have told us that by owning and using the calendar, their sense of breast health evolved and improved with each passing season.

The process is that simple. And that powerful.

Independently published by Sue Richards and a talented team of breast friends from across Canada, this educational calendar will inspire you to be breast confident and breast health informed.

Breast of Canada also includes thought provoking editorial copy. Have you ever wondered if there’s any connection between cosmetic and hair care product use and the incidence of breast cancer?

Here’s what we’ve learned so far:

There is no scientific proof of a link. (But don't take that for an answer: there was no scientific proof linking smoking and lung cancer until 1996!)

Currently, several breast cancer groups in the United States are demanding that all ingredients in personal care products be properly scrutinized before they hit store shelves. Nearly 90% of these ingredients haven't been tested for safety. The Environmental Working Group's report Skin Deep ( found that one-third of all beauty care products contain one or more ingredients classified as possible human carcinogens.

The 2006 Breast of Canada calendar is dedicated (posthumously) to Dr. Gabriele Helms and her daughter Hana.

Born May 15th, 1966, Gabi lead her breast cancer support group in the organization of a "Networking Event for Young Women with Breast Cancer" called The Young and the Breastless. An assistant professor of English at University of British Columbia, Breast of Canada model and a Canadian Breast Cancer Network director, Gabi was 38 years old when she died from breast cancer on New Year's eve, 2004. Tragically, her death came three days after giving birth to her first child.

Nineteen photo contest entries from over 150 submissions to our annual Photo Contest are featured in the 2006 edition and eight Breast Haiku’s from our annual contest appear throughout.

Breast of Canada is a grassroots, cottage industry, artist effort, published in Guelph, the birthplace of topfree Ontario. BoC is honoured to be partnered with the Canadian Breast Cancer Network - Principle photographer for BoC is Melanie Gillis.

For the detailed, daily adventure of being a breast calendar publisher, check out Calendar Girl Blog.

Official 2006 Breast of Canada Calendar Launch:
Friday, September 30, 8pm,
Youth Music Centre, 75 Cardigan St. Guelph.
Featuring Tannis Slimmon ( and the Breast Friends Choir.
Unwaged: pay-what-you-can. Waged: Suggested $10.00.

For interviews or our FTP Image Gallery address:

Sue Richards
P: (519) 767-0142

Please consider placing our banner on your website this fall.

Fabulous 2006 Sponsors:

Ottawa Folklore Centre
Sentex Communications
Federation of Canadian Naturists
Sleeman Brewery
Global Currency Services
Martha Muzychka
Sheila O’Reilly
Sean and Lisa Secord
Todd and Valerie Makant

Web Site Hosts: Barking Dog Studio

To order your copy: Breast of Canada


Friday, September 09, 2005

The Breast Views Blog: Breast Cancer Reality

I don't have breast cancer.

This blog writer (link below) does.

If you're cut from the cloth of 'wanting to know the intimate medical details', just click and read on. If you belong to the school of 'ignorance is bliss' you may want to dig yourself in deeper.

Plan B: the nasty medical stuff

Sue Richards

P.S. Do you want to support Breast Health Education? Help us spread the vibe. Please add a Breast of Canada Banner to your Blog.

Thursday, September 08, 2005

The Breast Views Blog: Cancer Patients Find Peace in Kundalini Yoga


Helps you fall in love with your body.

Cancer Patients Find Peace in Kundalini Yoga.

Sue Richards
Please add a Breast of Canada Banner to your Blog.

The Breast Views: Breast Implants Opinions

Here are two samples from the feedback from the Health Canada: Breast Implants Forum that I linked to in yesterdays posting. Opposite opinions I might add.

Should be banned completely

To limit a reasonable and personal choice...

Sue Richards
Want to support Breast Health? Please add a Breast of Canada Banner to your Blog.

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

The Breast Views Blog: Breast Implants Forum - Welcome!

This is a reminder from Kathleen O'Grady, Director of Communications, Canadian Women's Health Network. Health Canada has invited individuals and organizations to comment on the safety, risks and benefits of silicone gel-filled breast implants that are currently under review by Health Canada.

To register to be part of this public consultation process, and for more
details, please visit:Breast Implants Forum - Welcome!


Sue Richards
Real breasts, really.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

The Breast Views Blog: Breast Implants

This editorial on Breast Implants from the Houston - FDA's changing standards may end up hurting us all

Sue Richards
Just Say No To Breast Implants.

Saturday, September 03, 2005

The Breast Views Blog: Got Balls

Photo Credit: Melanie Gillis, principal photographer for the Breast of Canada Calendar.

Sue Richards
Doing strange things in the name of breast health.

Friday, September 02, 2005

The Breast Views Blog: Hyper-focused on canadian photography

Yet more people helping with our photo contest buzz....
Circle of Confusion --- hyper-focused on Canadian photography.

Sue Richards

The Breast Views Blog: Photo and Writing Contests Listings

These fine folks have listed the 2007 Breast of Canada Calendar photo contest plus our Haiku Contest.

Deadline for the Haiku contest is September 30th. Please don't delay. Get your 3 line, 17 syllable best breast haiku to us.
Photo Contests in Canada.
Writing Contests in Canada.

Sue Richards
The breast contests anywhere.

The Breast Views Blog: Breast Stories

The Breast Stories blog is written by a man who is "Promoting breast freedom for both women and men". He deserves a metal.

Everytime I read his postings I learn something valuable. His latest posting offers a vulnerable view of the male psyche. Antecedents of breast fixation.

Sue Richards
Mapping out a breast route for everyone.

Thursday, September 01, 2005

The Breast Views Blog: Donate your breast milk to a worthy cause

Credit:Melanie Gillis From the 2003 Breast of Canada Calendar.

Here's a generous idea. If your cup runneth over, donate your breast milk to a worthy cause.

Sue Richards

The Breast Views Blog: Dragon Boat Festival

Dragon Boat racing is very appealing to breast cancer survivors as a form of upper body strengthening, team building and support.

And it's damn hard work.

The CollingwoodDragon Boat Festivalis this weekend.

Sue Richards
Home of the breast calendar.

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