May 1, 2015

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congresswoman Jackie Speier (D-San Francisco/San Mateo Counties) and Representative Cynthia Lummis (R-Wyoming), along with 42 of their colleagues introduced H.R. 2191, the Breast Cancer Research Stamp Reauthorization Act of 2015, which would extend the authority of the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) by four years to continue to issue a fundraising stamp for breast cancer research. Representatives Speier and Lummis were joined by Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-California) and Senator Enzi (R-Wyoming), who introduced Senate companion legislation.
 
“A single stamp can make a big difference,” said Speier. “One in eight American women develops invasive breast cancer during her lifetime and it is the second leading cause of cancer death in women. By selling this stamp, the U.S. Postal Service has generated over $80 million in crucial breast cancer research funding in the United States at no additional costs to taxpayers. More than 70 countries has followed the United States’ lead, creating their own stamps, helping women, men, and families affected by breast cancer worldwide.”

“Since 1998, this has been an effective, budget-neutral way to fund critical research to treat and, hopefully one day cure this disease,” said Lummis. “For the health of all Americans, both women and men, it is important that we continue to support this fiscally responsible funding of medical research. I am proud to join my friend Jackie Speier and sponsor reauthorization to, as the stamp says, ‘Fund the fight. Find the cure.’”
 
“Breast cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in women, claiming 40,000 lives each year,” said Senator Feinstein. “This stamp offers Americans a simple way to contribute to breast cancer research. The research funded by the stamp over the past 17 years has led to advances in screening, diagnosis and treatment—we must ensure this research continues.”
 
More than a decade ago, breast cancer surgeon Dr. Ernie Bodai launched a campaign to create the Breast Cancer Research stamp. He pounded the marble floors in the US Capitol until the stamp was finally created by Congress in 1998. Almost one billion stamps have been sold in the United States, raising over $80 million for cutting-edge breast cancer research. However, the current authorization of the stamp expires this year.

The Breast Cancer Research Stamp is available for USPS customers to purchase for 11¢ above the cost of regular first-class postage. The stamp’s revenues cover USPS’s administrative costs and fund breast cancer research programs at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the Department of Defense (DoD). The Breast Cancer Research Stamp Reauthorization Act of 2015 is budget neutral.
 
The bill is supported by the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR), the American Cancer Society’s Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN), the American College of Surgeons, the American Congress of Obstetrics and Gynecology (ACOG), Are You Defense Advocacy, the Breast Cancer Fund, the Breast Cancer Research Foundation, the Center for Women Policy Studies, Susan G. Komen, and the Tigerlily Foundation.
 
“The monies raised to date have affected women nationwide in an incredibly positive way, both by saving lives and improving the quality of life for the ever-growing number of survivors,” said Dr. Ernie Bodai, a breast cancer surgeon and creator of the Breast Cancer Research Stamp. “My dream is that one of the research studies sponsored by these funds would, one day, find the cure we so desperately seek."

“I have witnessed firsthand the significant advances that have been made against several types of breast cancer, which is in large part due to our nation’s strong support for cancer research, specifically through the National Cancer Institute and its parent agency, the National Institutes of Health,” said Jose Baselga, president of the American Association for Cancer Research and physician-in-chief at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York. “The Breast Cancer Research Stamp program builds on this federal support by providing important supplementary funding for cancer researchers to pursue cutting-edge cancer research to prevent, detect, and treat breast cancer, a devastating disease that continues to take the lives of approximately 40,000 women each year. The AACR commends Congresswoman Speier, Representative Lummis, and Senator Feinstein for their unwavering commitment to the Breast Cancer Research Stamp program, as well as for their strong commitment to cancer research overall.”

“Throughout her tenure, Congresswoman Speier has been a tireless advocate for cancer patients and their families, and we commend this effort to prioritize cancer research through reauthorization of this valuable legislation that has raised more than $80 million for breast cancer research since 1998,” said Chris Hansen, president of the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN). “This funding has the potential to help advance our understanding of a disease that impacts about one in eight women in the U.S.—far too many of our mothers, wives, sisters, and friends.”
 
“Breast cancer is the second leading cause of cancer-related deaths among women, killing an estimated 40,000 women a year,” said John C. Jennings, president of the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. “The Breast Cancer Research stamp has already raised $80 million and has had far-reaching impact on women’s health. I applaud Representatives Speier and Lummis and Senator Feinstein for their support for continued breast cancer funding. With help from the funds raised by sale of this stamp, we may one day meet our goal of curing breast cancer.”

“This year, a quarter of a million women and men will be diagnosed with breast cancer and 40,000 families will lose someone to this disease,” said Jeanne Rizzo, president and CEO of the Breast Cancer Fund. “This funding is absolutely critical so researchers can continue to investigate the causes and avenues of prevention so that, in the future, far fewer people have to hear the devastating words so many have already heard: You have breast cancer.”

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