National Breast Cancer Coalition

NBCC's History

Revolutionizing the Breast Cancer Community since its inception

NBCC has been revolutionizing the breast cancer community since its inception in 1991. As an organization, we have separated ourselves from the pack with our mission to end breast cancer, our determination to make the disease a priority for our government, our sense of urgency, our courage to ask hard questions, our thoughtfulness as we reject popular thinking and our integrity to stand up and challenge the status quo.

On September 20, 2010, The National Breast Cancer Coalition launched Breast Cancer Deadline 2020®—a call to action for policymakers, researchers, breast cancer advocates and other stakeholders to know how to end the disease by 2020. Breast Cancer Deadline 2020® says it’s time for accountability.

Is this a bold step? Absolutely.

The National Breast Cancer Coalition is determined to end this disease, and is committed to the challenges necessary to overcome whatever barriers are in the way. So when people say, "This is impossible"—and they will say it—we say, "Bring it on!"

Meeting our goal will take all of our greatest efforts and we will know how to end this disease by January 1, 2020 by focusing the administration, U.S. Congress, research institutions and consumer advocates on breast cancer.

NBCC encourages all those concerned about this disease to become advocates for action and change. The Coalition informs, trains and directs patients and others in effective advocacy efforts. Nationwide, women and men are increasing the awareness of breast cancer public policy by participating in legislative, scientific and regulatory decisions, promoting positive media coverage and actively working to raise public awareness.

NBCC's Primary Goals

To achieve its mission, the National Breast Cancer Coalition is guided by three primary goals:

  • Research: to promote research into the cause of, and optimal preventive and treatment interventions for, breast cancer through increased federal funding, fostering of innovation and collaborative approaches, and improved accountability.
  • Access: to improve access to quality breast cancer care for all women, from screening through diagnosis, treatment and care, particularly for the underserved and uninsured, through legislation and change in systems of delivery of health care.
  • Influence: to educate and empower women and men as advocates, increasing the involvement and influence of those living with breast cancer and other breast cancer activists wherever and whenever breast cancer decisions are made.

The extensive efforts of NBCC's nationwide advocacy network have resulted in meaningful progress in the fight against breast cancer.

To conduct lobbying and educational efforts, NBCC is composed of two organizational arms, the National Breast Cancer Coalition, which lobbies Congress for improved public policies, and the National Breast Cancer Coalition Fund, which supports the Coalition's education programs.*

Highlights of NBCC's Major Accomplishments

  1. Created and mobilized a powerful, effective and diverse network of trained grassroots activists, giving breast cancer a meaningful voice in Washington, DC, and state capitals, in laboratories and health care institutions.
  2. Increased federal funding for breast cancer research, including $2.89 billion for the Department of Defense (DOD) Breast Cancer Research Program.
  3. Conceived and spearheaded an unprecedented model of consumer involvement and innovative research at the DOD peer-reviewed Breast Cancer Research Program, which has attracted more than 46,000 proposals since its inception.
  4. Urged the Clinton Administration to create a National Action Plan on Breast Cancer, a unique collaboration of government, science, private industry and consumers, and co-chaired the Plan’s implementation.
  5. Channeled the outrage that low-income and uninsured women had access to screening but not treatment into a public policy strategy and successful fight for a system of care, the Breast and Cervical Cancer Treatment Act.
  6. Established an innovative Annual Advocacy Training Conference to empower thousands of advocates to push for quality care, research and health care access and better serve their communities.
  7. Convened a unique  summit of leaders for three days of educational and strategy building sessions to train and empower breast cancer survivors and others by providing information and background about breast cancer as well as the tools and tactics necessary to take a leadership role in breast cancer advocacy.
  8. Created Project LEAD®, an acclaimed science-based training program for breast cancer advocates, with more than 1,300 graduates and a website for continuing education.
  9. Developed Beyond the Headlines to bring the perspective of trained breast cancer activists to research studies and media reports, to cut through the rhetoric and provide unbiased breast cancer information and offer tools for understanding the complexities inherent in breast cancer issues.
  10. Launched our Clinical Trials Initiative to make certain that the right research gets done correctly and quickly, that trained breast cancer survivors are included in trial design and accrual; and that policies encourage access to trials and mandate insurance coverage for participants.
  11. Assisted groups nationwide and throughout the world to strengthen their ability to speak up and out about political, scientific and health care issues.
  12. Created our Environmental Initiative to lead the fight for a national strategy to address the links between environmental factors and breast cancer.
  13. Developed our Quality Care Initiative to put the power in the hands of women with the disease to make informed treatment decisions and promote systems change. Created the Guide to Quality Breast Cancer Care, a consumer guidebook that helps those affected by breast cancer to better understand what quality care is and how to get it.
  14. Earned recognition as one of the top 25 most influential groups in national health policy in a University of Chicago study.
  15. Created breakthrough programs to shape the future of breast cancer research, including a Strategic Consensus Conference on biomarkers.
  16. Launched Personal Stories, Public Action™ and Get it Off Your Chest campaigns to put a face on breast cancer.


*NBCC is composed of two organizational arms: the National Breast Cancer Coalition is a 501(c)(4) corporation whose purpose is to lobby Congress and the states for improved public policies to move toward the eradication of breast cancer. The National Breast Cancer Coalition Fund is a 501(c)(3) corporation that supports the educational efforts of NBCC and advocates through activities that address administrative agencies, scientists and health care professionals. Together, the two arms of NBCC issue a call to action by offering diverse and substantive activities, programs, training and events, designed to educate and empower individuals to fight effectively to end this disease. 

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