Breast Cancer Rates In Gold Country Friday, July 18, 2014 | Sacramento, CA Listen / download audio Update RequiredTo play audio, update browser or Flash plugin. While gold mining has given California so much rich history, it has also given women in the Sierra Nevada something to fear. The counties that make up Gold Country have some of the highest age-adjusted rates of breast cancer in California -much higher than similar rural counties where mining didn’t exist. Now, the environmental organization Sierra Streams is conducting the first-ever study to figure out if mining contaminants are causing women living in Gold Country to develop breast cancer. The study is still in the early stages, but joining us to explain more is Jane Sellen, a principal investigator of the project, Susan Ellenbogen, a Gold Country woman interested in the project's research, and Peggy Reynolds, an epidemiologist with the Cancer Prevention Institute of California who is partnering with Sierra Streams for the project.