National Breast Cancer Coalition

Call to Action February 2018

Public Policy

Breast cancer is a political issue. The federal government funds biomedical research, laws regulate and support access to care and health care systems, and third party payors are subject to state and federal regulations.  It is essential that those who influence breast cancer policy are not only well-educated and trained but also have no agenda other than saving lives. 

To ensure this, NBCC educates, prepares, and directs breast cancer patients and their supporters in effective advocacy strategies and approaches.  Nationwide, these women and men are shaping breast cancer public policy by participating in legislative, scientific, and regulatory decisions; promoting critical analysis of breast cancer information and media coverage; and actively working to change all systems that impact NBCC’s mission to end breast cancer.

Each year, NBCC’s grassroots Board of Directors, with input from our membership, determines our public policy and legislative priorities for the coming year.  The 2018 priorities are:

  • $150 Million for the Department of Defense (DOD) Breast Cancer Research Program (BCRP) for FY2019: As a result of NBCC’s grassroots advocacy, the DOD BCRP was created in 1992 to “eradicate breast cancer by funding innovative, high-impact research through a partnership of scientists and consumers.” The DOD BCRP is widely viewed as an innovative, unique, and efficient medical research model which has proven to be accountable to the public and has produced extraordinary results. NBCC seeks continued funding for this successful program.
  • A bill to add Metastatic Breast Cancer as a Qualifying Condition for Medicare Coverage. This legislation would waive all waiting periods for Medicare eligibility on the basis of disability for all individuals with metastatic breast cancer and provide Medicare health care coverage including drugs and biologicals and all interventions used for the treatment and alleviation of symptoms relating to metastatic breast cancer.  
  • Preservation of the Medicaid Breast and Cervical Cancer Treatment Program: Congress enacted the Breast and Cervical Cancer Treatment Act in 2000 after years of NBCC grassroots lobbying and influence. NBCC remains committed to ensuring all women and men screened and diagnosed with breast cancer through federal screening programs have access to the treatment they need.
  • Guaranteed Access to Quality Care for All: Ensuring access to quality, evidence-based health care has been a top priority of NBCC for many years and is an essential component of Breast Cancer Deadline 2020®.  The Coalition opposes and will work to defeat efforts to repeal the ACA or replace it with something less expansive.
  • Ensuring the Participation of Educated Patient Advocates in all Levels of Health Care Decision-Making: NBCC continues to work to ensure that educated patient advocates have a meaningful seat at the table in all levels of health care decision-making.

Spread the word and be prepared for the action alerts from NBCC to make these priorities a reality!

2018 Advocate Leadership Summit & Lobby Day

BE BOLD! Attend the 2018 Advocate Leadership Summit and Lobby Day

This is a critical moment in our mission to know how to end breast cancer. Now is the time when we must build on the considerable strengths of leaders and visionaries who are working at every level to achieve our mission to end breast cancer and Breast Cancer Deadline 2020®.   We need advocates like you to help carry the mission forward and ensure that the educated and trained patient voice is heard everywhere that decisions about breast cancer are made.

Become an expert Advocate Leader and attend the NBCC Advocate Leadership Summit April 28 - May 1, 2018 in Washington, D.C. At this year’s Summit, you will:

  • Get inspiration from established advocates who have built thriving local advocacy networks; 
  • Learn about genomics and breast cancer with Dr. Steven Shak and Joy Simha;
  • Attend an armchair discussion with Dr. Dennis Slamon;
  • Hear about the impact of Department of Defense-funded research on innovation and breakthroughs from researchers;
  • Understand the status of access to health care;
  • Know what is happening with the Artemis Project® research;
  • Ramp up your critical appraisal skills by participating in a workshop led by Gary Schwitzer and Christine Norton; and
  • Organize and prepare to go to Capitol Hill for Lobby Day on May 1st.

We can achieve our mission to end breast cancer. But we will only get there with the relentless advocacy of well-trained leaders like you.  Register today to take action and inspire your fellow advocates.


Funded by a seed grant from NBCC’s Artemis Project®, DNA.Land is developing a DNA database to further study breast cancer genomics.  The database will serve as an important tool for breast cancer researchers and has the potential to advance approaches to prevent recurrence and determine risk for the disease. NBCC and DNA.Land scientists need participation from as many people as possible who have or have had breast cancer or have a first degree relative with a history of breast cancer.

If you’ve had your DNA analyzed with direct-to-consumer companies like 23andMe, AncestryDNA, or FamilyTreeDNA, you can upload your genomic information to DNA.Land’s database and help scientists learn more about the genetics of breast cancer.  The genomic data, along with answers from a breast cancer questionnaire developed by NBCC-trained advocates and researchers, will be used to identify genetic variants that impact risk and recurrence of the disease.

You can learn more about the collaboration here and here.

NBCC's 2018 Project LEAD® Institute

The application window for the 2018 Project LEAD® Institute is now open!

The Project LEAD® Institute is a six-day training program for advocates interested in the science of breast cancer, and will cover the basics of cancer biology, genetics, epidemiology, research design, and advocacy. Taught by renowned scientific faculty, the Institute will be held Sunday, July 22nd - Friday, July 27th at the Estancia La Jolla Hotel in La Jolla, California. There is no charge for this program.

Application Deadline: April 18th, 2018
Notification of Acceptance: June 1st, 2018

Questions? Please email

 Call for stories

One of NBCC’s 2018 legislative priorities is adding metastatic breast cancer as a qualifying condition for Medicare coverage. This legislation would waive all waiting periods for Medicare eligibility on the basis of disability for individuals with metastatic breast cancer and provide Medicare health care coverage for the treatment and alleviation of symptoms relating to metastatic breast cancer. 

NBCC believes that quality care must be accessible to everyone. Making certain all those with metastatic disease have access is an important and major step.  Your help is critical in making this happen. If you or a family member have been diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer, we want to hear from you about how waiving Medicare waiting periods would affect you and your family. Stories from advocates like you will advance this important legislative priority. Please send your story to

 Help Us End Breast Cancer

When we set a deadline to know how to end breast cancer, we knew it would be difficult to achieve and controversial to try. But we are well on our way, and that is in large part because of you. With your help, we can achieve our mission to end breast cancer. Thank you for considering a gift in support of Breast Cancer Deadline 2020®. Please donate online.