BREAST CANCER: Group to Study Marin’s High Rates
A group of breast cancer survivors and medical experts in Marin County is launching a scientific study to determine why Marin's breast cancer rate is the highest in the Bay Area -- and among the highest nationwide. The study, to be run jointly by the Marin Breast Cancer Watch and the University of California at San Francisco and funded by a $500,000 grant from UC-Berkeley's California Breast Cancer Research Program, will compare the adolescent experiences of 300 breast cancer survivors with 300 women who have not had breast cancer, in an effort to find a link between teen experiences and later diagnosis. From 1992 to 1996, Marin's breast cancer rate was about 150 cases per 100,000 residents, compared to 122 per 100,000 in Contra Costa County, 111 cases in San Mateo, 106 cases in Alameda and 101 cases in San Francisco. "That data, experts said, puts Marin County's incidence rate among the highest in the country, and possibly the world." County officials are also examining the trend, setting aside $250,000 to study the issue. Nancy Rubin, the county's director of health and human services, said a primary goal "is to map cases in Marin and to identify cancer clusters, if they exist." Local officials also hope to identify "possible causes to which women can respond" in order to lower incidence rates, such as environmental or lifestyle factors (Marszalek, San Francisco Chronicle, 8/13).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.