WASHINGTON D.C. – The Senate unanimously approved a bill to renew congressional approval for the breast cancer research stamp through 2019. The stamp has raised $80.9 million for breast cancer research since its creation in 1998.
The bill, introduced by Senators Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., and Mike Enzi, R-Wyo., is cosponsored by John Barrasso, R-Wyo., and 22 other senators. Representatives Jackie Speier, D-Calif., and Cynthia Lummis, R-Wyo., have introduced companion legislation in the House of Representatives.
The breast cancer research stamp provides first-class postage and currently costs 60 cents. The additional 11 cents over the regular postal rate helps fund breast cancer research at the National Institutes of Health and the Medical Research Program at the Department of Defense.
The idea for the stamp was devised by Sacramento breast cancer surgeon, Dr. Ernie Bodai. Dr. Bodai partnered with Betsy Mullen, a breast cancer survivor from San Diego, and David Goodman from Orinda, who lost his wife to breast cancer, to advocate for the creation of the stamp.
“The breast cancer research stamp has been incredibly successful—raising $81 million for life-saving research over the past 17 years. It offers Americans a simple way to contribute to improved screening, diagnosis and treatment for the most commonly-diagnosed cancer in women,” said Senator Feinstein. “October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month and I look forward to working with the Post Office to spread public awareness about the stamp and ensure it’s available at every location.”
“This stamp provides the opportunity for any American to make a small contribution in order to make a big difference in the fight against breast cancer.” – Sen. Mike Enzi (R-Wyo)
“Over the years, this stamp has raised tens of millions of dollars. By passing this bill, Congress can ensure that this research will continue to be there to help the hundreds of thousands of women who will be diagnosed in the future,” Enzi said.
“I am thrilled that the breast cancer research stamp will be reauthorized for an additional four years,” said Dr. Ernie Bodai. “To date, the stamp has raised nearly $81 million for much-needed research. These funds have resulted in major advances not only in breast cancer, but other malignancies as well. I am truly grateful for the ongoing support of Senators Feinstein and Enzi and their dedication to finding a cure.”
Proceeds from the stamp help fund the National Cancer Institute’s breast cancer research programs. These programs focus on how to improve early detection of breast cancer. Scientists study how cancers originate and develop in order to improve prevention, screening, diagnosis and treatment.
Scientists also research how to identify markers that precede the development of breast cancer, find better ways to predict whether tumors and lesions found through cancer screening are likely to become life-threatening and investigate links between pregnancy factors and breast cancer risk.
The bill is supported by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, American Association for Cancer Research, American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network, the American College of Surgeons, Are You Dense Advocacy, Breast Cancer Fund, Center for Women Policy Studies, Susan G. Komen, Breast Cancer Research Foundation and Tigerlily Foundation.