Call to Action Online - August 2012
NBCC Issues 2012 Progress Report: Deadline Campaign Advances
The National Breast Cancer Coalition has released its second annual Progress Report on the state of breast cancer. Unfortunately, outside the work being accomplished by NBCC’s Breast Cancer Deadline 2020®, not much has changed since last year.
Breast cancer advocates never expected that a single year would "turn it all around." After all, for more than 40 years the business of breast cancer has operated within an infrastructure designed to achieve incremental—if any—progress. Given that point of reference, one would expect to see exactly what happened: no significant changes in preventing, finding, treating or curing breast cancer during the past year.
We must face the realities about the state of breast cancer if we are to achieve our goal, such as:
- Breast cancer incidence and mortality remained essentially unchanged since 2011. In fact, a woman’s chances of developing invasive breast cancer have increased by nearly 40% since 1975 and mortality has declined only slightly.
- There were no major advances in treatment for breast cancer in the last year. Surgery, chemotherapy, hormonal therapy, radiation, and targeted therapy have remained the standard of care for breast cancer treatment for several decades. Year after year, time and money are devoted to testing the newest drug which may minimally improve progression-free survival, but has little effect on overall survival.
- Public perception continues to be skewed by representations in the media. As a result, women perceive the average age of diagnosis to be much younger than it is. And a preference for stories on “breakthrough” new treatments leads to the mistaken belief that scientists are close to a cure.
- Public policy continues to play a significant role, though competition is stiff in the public health space. As of July 2012, the 112th Congress had introduced more than 9,500 pieces of legislation (including Accelerating the End of Breast Cancer Act, S.3237/H.R. 3067, created by NBCC). Only 105 have become law. Only one directly influences public health.
- The number of organizations endorsing Breast Cancer Deadline 2020® has grown to nearly 200. The year saw wider acceptance of Breast Cancer Deadline 2020® as a tool for bringing attention to ending the disease. The list of endorsing organizations includes many within the breast cancer community, as well as groups focused more broadly on women’s health or other women’s issues.
NBCC Issues Detailed Plan for Breast Cancer Deadline 2020®
In conjunction with the 2012 Progress Report, NBCC also released the Blueprint for Breast Cancer Deadline 2020®, which lays out the strategy behind NBCC’s campaign to end the disease by January 1, 2020. The Blueprint describes three strategies: research needed to end breast cancer; global access to necessary information and lifesaving interventions; and the influence of leaders everywhere in the fight to end breast cancer.
The goal is achievable—with the right amount of passion, leadership and funding. This is a dynamic process; as we learn more, the Blueprint will change. It will take all of us working together to change years of incremental progress and inspire a decade of unparalleled achievement. The Blueprint for Breast Cancer Deadline 2020® will help us get there.
The key strategies outline in the Blueprint are:
- Facilitate collaboration in all areas and minimize unnecessary competition. All stakeholders involved in research, particularly the scientific community, must work together to create synergies and develop partnerships to advance the pace of research.
- Leverage financial resources to harness existing research and catalyze innovation. The Breast Cancer Deadline 2020® campaign will capitalize on the investments made by our nation and others around the world that have resulted in the knowledge, tools and technologies needed to end breast cancer. The goal is to take what is known and build upon it for the sole purpose of ending the disease.
- Develop a global strategy to ensure that individuals with, and at risk of, breast cancer have access to information, quality care and scientific advances. Finding the answers to prevention and saving lives will not end breast cancer until everyone, everywhere, has meaningful access to those answers. NBCC will bring together stakeholders from around the world at all levels, from policy makers to grassroots advocates, and engage them throughout the process to make certain that location, economic status, and societal factors are not barriers to access.
- Change the conversation. Despite years of campaigns to raise awareness, ever-expanding screening programs, increased fundraising efforts and research, breast cancer incidence and mortality have not changed significantly. Media, advocates, researchers, policy makers and others must be educated in order to shift the public dialogue about breast cancer from awareness and screening to prevention and saving lives. We must make certain that leaders in government, industry and all areas embrace the deadline with courage and conviction and make ending this disease a priority.
- Mobilize the breast cancer advocacy community. All those at risk—and all who care about them—must join a revolutionary activist movement with the goal of ending breast cancer.
Help Accelerate Our Progress
You can help end breast cancer by spreading the word.
Share the Blueprint for Breast Cancer Deadline 2020® with five of your friends now.
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