News & Alerts

Call to Action Online – March 16, 2021

March 16, 2021

A Closer Look at the DOD Breast Cancer Research Program

The Department of Defense (DOD) has operated the peer-reviewed Breast Cancer Research Program (BCRP) since 1992 as a result of NBCC’s “$300 Million More” campaign to increase federal funding for breast cancer research. Due to NBCC’s grassroots advocacy and the DOD BCRP’s demonstrated success, Congress has appropriated funding for it each year since.

The program vision is a world without breast cancer, specifically it seeks to “accelerate high-impact research with clinical relevance, encourage innovation and stimulate creativity, and facilitate productive collaborations.” Some of the keys to the DOD BCRP’s success include:

  • It is innovative and unique. The program has a unique grants structure which allows it to be more flexible than other traditional competitive, peer-reviewed medical research programs.
  • It addresses specific needs. The program directs research to address health concerns that are a priority and identifies the specific research area where funding is allocated.
  • It is efficient. Approximately 90 percent of the appropriated funding goes directly to competitive, peer-reviewed research grants awarded to the best science.
  • It is accountable to the public and is transparent. Educated, trained consumer advocates participate in a two-tiered process where research proposals are reviewed first for scientific quality and then for programmatic relevance.
  • It has produced extraordinary results. The DOD BCRP has made significant scientific breakthroughs that have contributed to our understanding and treatment of breast cancer.
  • It benefits all. As the first of the Congressionally Directed Medical Research Programs (CDMRPs), the DOD BCRP strives to uphold the vision of the CDMRPs “to find and fund the best research to eradicate diseases and support the warfighter for the benefit of the American public.” It does this by directly supporting over 400,000 women currently serving on active duty and in the Reserves and National Guard, their male counterparts, and their families, as well as the millions living with breast cancer across the nation and around the world.

Last year, 197 U.S. Representatives and 27 Senators supported NBCC’s bipartisan effort to increase funding for this worthy program. This year, we urge our NBCC advocates to encourage their Members of Congress to sign the Dear Colleague Letters in support of level funding for the program at $150 million for Fiscal Year 2022. The program receives funding from the Appropriations Defense committee, and NBCC has begun the process of urging Members of Congress to sign the DOD BCRP Dear Colleague Letters.

Metastatic Breast Cancer Access to Care Act Update and NBCC Tools to Help You Take Action

Congressional Reps. Castor (D-FL-14) and Katko (R-NY-24) are circulating a Dear Colleague Letter in the House of Representatives prior to reintroducing the Metastatic Breast Cancer Access to Care Act in the 117th Congress. The letter gives House Members the opportunity to become an original cosponsor on the legislation. We need your voice on Capitol Hill to get support for the bill. One easy way to reach your House Member is to use the NBCC Action Center. Here you can share NBCC’s message and why they should become an original cosponsor with just a few clicks. If you are interested in more information on NBCC’s public policy activities, please send an email to

2021 Virtual Advocate Leadership Summit 

Mark your calendars! The National Breast Cancer Coalition is holding its Virtual Advocate Leadership Summit this year on May 13-15, 2021. The exciting program will include skill-building workshops for advocates, updates from scientists on the latest research, and numerous networking opportunities. Attendees will hear from experts on topics such as moving the needle on disparities in breast cancer, the Artemis Project, and how the new Congress and administration will shape breast cancer policy. On Monday we will host our Lobby Day Briefing and state delegation meetings. And on Tuesday, May 18, advocates will participate in a Virtual Lobby Day to ensure our leaders in Congress join us in our fight to end breast cancer.

Registration for the Virtual Summit is $150 per person, or $125 with a buddy discount. Registration is now open, register here.

Join Us

NBCC increases federal funding for breast cancer research, monitors how research funds are spent, expands access to quality health care, and ensures that trained advocates influence all decisions affecting breast cancer. Join NBCC and thousands of others to keep breast cancer a priority for Congressional and state policymakers. Join our efforts today.