Here is another interesting book review about a book that may be of interest. I doubt that I will read this one, but I did enjoy the review. It is about Breasts by Florence Williams and includes breast cancer in a much larger discussion of the cultural/societal meaning of women's breasts and the possible environmental negative impact on breast milk and cancer development. And PS: Did you know that Rachel Carson died of breast cancer?
by M. G. LORD • SEPT. 14, 2012
The breast milk of the writer Florence Williams contains a striking level of perchlorate, a key component of rocket fuel. This does not, however, invest her with superpowers, as it might if she were a comic-book hero, or even make her special. Rather, as she explains in "Breasts: A Natural and Unnatural History," her mammary glands are no different from those of most American women. In the year 2012, breast-feeding still passes many good things from mother to baby: vitamins, minerals and "a solid hedge of extras to help ward off a lifetime of diseases." But the practice also typically transfers "paint thinners, dry-cleaning fluids, wood preservatives, toilet deodorizers, cosmetic additives, gasoline by-products, rocket fuel, termite poisons, fungicides" and varieties of flame retardants, one of which, Penta-BDE, was banned by the European Union because of its chronic toxicity to humans.
"Breasts" is less a primer on anatomy than a catalog of environmental devastation akin to Rachel Carson's 1962 classic "Silent Spring," which detailed the impact of industrial chemicals — notably, the pesticide DDT — on animal life. But Williams, who cites Carson as an inspiration, has written a far scarier book. Carson examined birds and fish. Williams looks at us.