National Breast Cancer Coalition

Call to Action Online - August 2011

NBCC’s Advocate Voices Are Heard in Congress

Earlier this summer, faced with a serious threat to the 2012 Department of Defense (DOD) Breast Cancer Research Program (BCRP), NBCC advocates targeted members of the House of Representatives to urge that Congress vote to continue the program. 

Whether by phone, email or in person on Capitol Hill and at local events during the July 4th Congressional recess, dedicated NBCC advocates let their Members know their support was needed for this vitally important program. Their activism was effective. In early July, the FY 2012 Defense Appropriations bill passed by the House included $120 million in funding for the DOD BCRP. 

In the Senate, NBCC advocates asked their Senators to sign a letter to the Senate Defense Appropriations Committee in support of $150 million in level funding for the DOD BCRP for FY 2012. Again thanks to NBCC’s advocate efforts, the following 29 Senators signed the DOD BCRP letter of support:  

Boxer (CA), Blumenthal (CT), Coons (DE), Akaka (HI), Durbin (IL), Harkin (IA), Collins (ME), Snowe (ME), Cardin (MD), Mikulski (MD), Kerry (MA), Stabenow (MI), Klobuchar (MN), Franken (MN), Reid (NV), Shaheen (NH), Lautenberg (NJ), Bingaman (NM), Udall (NM), Gillibrand (NY), Schumer (NY), Wyden (OR), Merkley (OR), Reed (RI), Whitehouse (RI), Johnson (SD), Leahy (VT), Sanders (VT), and Kohl (WI). 

If you haven’t already done so, please send a thank you note to the Senator(s) from your state who signed the letter. Tell them you appreciate their support of this vitally important DOD peer-reviewed Breast Cancer Research Program. If your Senator(s) did not sign the letter, let them know you are disappointed and will continue to hold them accountable.   

The Senate is expected to consider the FY 2012 Defense Appropriations bill in September. 

Why is the DOD BCRP so important to breast cancer?  

  • It’s innovative. The DOD BCRP funds high-risk, high-return research.
  • It’s efficient. At least ninety percent of the appropriated funding goes directly to peer-reviewed research grants.
  • It’s accountable to the public. DOD-funded researchers must present their results online on the program’s website and at public meetings such as the  “Era of Hope.”
  • It’s produced extraordinary results. DOD-funded researchers have found new methods of extracting breast cancer cells at their earliest stages, unraveled gene/environment interactions, and found new ways to attack cancer cells.

Thanks to all of our advocates for their hard work on behalf of this very important program.  

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A Report to the Nation: Results of Breast Cancer Research Presented at Era of Hope Conference 

More than 1,600 scientists, clinicians and breast cancer survivors and advocates, including representatives from the National Breast Cancer Coalition, will gather in Orlando today to attend the Department of Defense (DOD) Breast Cancer Research Program (BCRP) Era of Hope Conference.

"Era of Hope represents an unparalleled partnership of consumers and scientists working side by side, asking difficult questions, bringing the vision of the program to life. Advocates participate at every level of this conference, from planning to plenary presentations to co-chairing symposia. Era of Hope is a prime opportunity for advocates to challenge researchers to find new answers to breast cancer and form new collaborations with them," said Fran Visco, President of the National Breast Cancer Coalition. "Era of Hope exemplifies the kind of innovative, out-of-the-box thinking encouraged by our Breast Cancer Deadline 2020® strategy that will help us meet our goal to end breast cancer by January 1, 2020." NBCC will present its vision and methodology behind Breast Cancer Deadline 2020® during the Era of Hope Poster Sessions.

The conference fosters an environment for innovative, collaborative thinking as participants challenge the status quo in search of high-impact approaches for ending breast cancer.

The DOD BCRP was established in 1992 as an unprecedented model of consumer involvement and innovative research. It is the second-largest funding agent of extramural breast cancer research in the world. NBCC’s efforts have helped secure more than $2.68 billion for the DOD BCRP, which has attracted more than 29,000 proposals since its inception. The BCRP exists because of the dedicated efforts of breast cancer advocates who raised public awareness and pushed for additional research in breast cancer.

"This program owes its success to the dedication of advocates, scientists and the U.S. Army and their belief and support of the mission, which is respected throughout the cancer and broader medical community for its innovative, transparent and accountable approach. The pioneering research performed through the program and the unique vision it maintains has the potential to benefit not just breast cancer, but all cancers as well as other diseases. Biomedical research is literally being transformed by the success of the DOD BCRP. The Era of Hope conference highlights those successes," said Visco.

Breast cancer is the most commonly diagnosed non-skin cancer in women. One out of every eight women will develop breast cancer in her lifetime. For more information on the status of breast cancer, read NBCC’s 2011 Progress Report, Ending Breast Cancer: A Baseline Status Report.

To learn more about the breast cancer research being presented at this year's Era of Hope, August 2-5, advocates are welcome to join a virtual press briefing on August 3 at 12:30 pm EDT. You must register for this event.

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President Obama, NBCC Advocates Want You to Support Breast Cancer Deadline 2020®

To end breast cancer by January 1, 2020, everyone—including the President of the United States—must be On the Clock.

NBCC is gathering signatures on a petition to the President calling on him to commit to Breast Cancer Deadline 2020®. Sign the petition now and tell President Obama to make the end of breast cancer by January 1, 2020, a national priority.

Sign the Petition Now!

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Support Breast Cancer Research

Resources for the DOD BCRP must be appropriated annually by Congress. Your donation helps us train and educate breast cancer advocates to effectively urge elected officials to continue to fund this important program. It also allows advocates to work side by side with scientists and participate in all aspects of the work to end breast cancer by January 1, 2020. Are you with us?

Make a donation to NBCC now.