Breast Cancer Documentary Premieres in Suffolk County

Bob DiBenedetto, President, HealthyPlanet, Karen Miller, HBCAC and Robert Meinke, Greener Country.

Bob DiBenedetto, President, HealthyPlanet, Karen Miller, HBCAC and Robert Meinke, Greener Country.

Suffolk County Commissioner, Environment & Energy, Carrie Meek-Gallagher; Film producer, Sabrina McCormick; PhD, Cancer Awareness, Department of Environment & Energy, Amy Juchatz, MPH

Suffolk County Commissioner, Environment & Energy, Carrie Meek-Gallagher; Film producer, Sabrina McCormick; PhD, Cancer Awareness, Department of Environment & Energy, Amy Juchatz, MPH

By Emilie Schneider

Suffolk County Commissioner, Environment & Energy, Carrie Meek-Gallagher; Film producer, Sabrina McCormick; PhD, Cancer Awareness, Department of Environment & Energy, Amy Juchatz, MPH.

A raw and rare documentary film focusing on a local woman’s journey after a breast cancer diagnosis recently premiered in Suffolk County during National Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

“No Family History” is a breath of fresh air for many breast cancer advocates because the film focuses on precaution and prevention instead of searching only for a cure. The film also reveals that genetics plays a small role in a breast cancer diagnosis.

“Only 5 percent of the causes of breast cancer are attributed to genetic factors, contrary to what has been the focus in the past,” said Karen Miller, president and founder of the Huntington Breast Cancer Action Coalition. “We were told that unless breast cancer ran in the family, there was no need to be concerned, “No Family History” dispels those myths.”

Outreach display of “Look Before You LEAP” educational materials were showcased during the reception held before film screening.

Outreach display of “Look Before You LEAP” educational materials were showcased during the reception held before film screening.

Now more than ever there is an increase in information about the synergistic effects of the air we breathe, the food we eat, the water we drink and the products we utilize in and around the house that contribute to the epidemic proportions of the incidences of breast cancer, Miller added.

She said is most grateful to Suffolk County Executive Steve Levy, who hosted the film, for his tireless support in forming the Suffolk County Cancer Awareness Task Force and providing the resources to create the Home Product Checklist to promote healthy homes.

The Suffolk County Cancer Awareness Task Force is an effort to educate residents about methods of prevention and to expand cancer services in the area.

“Levy put his muscle behind premiering the film here,” Miller said. “It is the real view of cancer and how it affects a family and why together as a community including doctors, researchers, neighbors and policy makers must work together to reduce our toxic exposures that contribute to disease.”

Levy wanted to use the premiere to launch Suffolk County’s cancer prevention strategy because the film explores factors other than family history that can be responsible for the high incidence of breast cancer on Long Island, said Michele Crosby from the Office of Cancer Awareness and Environmental Assessment.

“They were trying to get the message across about prevention through lifestyle changes,” she added.

Director and producer Sabrina McCormick hopes those who watched the film walked away knowing it was the truth.

“I think there is growing awareness of the environment’s link to breast cancer, but I think it is a very tough sell to the general public who has been taught to believe that a cure is the most important thing,” she said.

The Huntington Breast Cancer Action Coalition has been one of the leaders in the prevention and precaution movement. Check out our websites www.hbcac.org, www.preventionisthecure.org and www.ribbet.org. If you want to help us continue to spread the word please contact (631) 547-1518. Together we can make a difference.