NBCC grassroots membership has power and passion and they have proven it once again. While many others despair of progress in Washington because of bipartisan gridlock, NBCC pushed forward with its agenda and NBCC advocates prevailed. In early May, NBCC hosted its Annual Advocate Summit which drew more than 600 attendees from across the country. The event culminated in a lobby day which included more than 400 meetings on the Hill. During those meetings, advocates highlighted the urgency behind the Accelerating the End of Breast Cancer Act.
As a result of those NBCC lobby day meetings, on May 25, Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), along with Senators Grassley (R-IA), Brown (D-OH), Collins (R-ME), Shaheen (D-NH), Murkowski (R-AK), Warner (D-VA) and Heller (R-NV), introduced the Accelerating the End of Breast Cancer Act (S. 3237). This companion legislation in the Senate is similar to the House bill, HR 3067.
“This nation has made a significant investment in biomedical research and specifically in breast cancer that has brought us to the point where we can apply our knowledge and finally end breast cancer. This bill is vital to that effort,” said Fran Visco, President of NBCC and a 24-year breast cancer survivor in a press release issued immediately following the introduction of this legislation.
As detailed in our 2011 Progress Report, we know little about how to prevent breast cancer or how to prevent deaths from the disease. And while we have discovered new ways to treat breast cancer, they have not had a great effect on the important outcomes: preventing breast cancer and making certain no one dies of it.
S. 3237 focuses on these two areas: the primary prevention of breast cancer and preventing breast cancer metastasis—the spread of the disease to other parts of the body, which is responsible for more than 90 percent of breast cancer deaths. It creates the Commission to Accelerate the End of Breast Cancer comprised of several carefully selected representatives of biomedical research, business, breast cancer advocacy, and other related and unrelated disciplines, who have demonstrated an ability to be innovative, creative and strategic.
If you live in a state that is represented by one of the Senators who introduced our legislation, please be sure to thank them. If you live in a different state, please call the offices of your Senators and ask to speak to the Legislative Assistant (LA) for Health Issues. Tell the Health LA that you urge your Senator to co-sponsor the bipartisan Accelerating the End of Breast Cancer Act, S. 3237.
Meet NBCC’s newest vehicle for communicating our progress toward ending breast cancer by January 1, 2020, our Breast Cancer Deadline 2020® Blog. Here you can find the latest news from major conferences like ASCO, and our take on the media storm surrounding the release of the TDM-1 trial results. Or you can get ideas from other advocates like Iowa’s Christine Carpenter who shared her experience with us recently about how her organization is implementing its Breast Cancer Deadline 2020® state game plan. Some advocates tell compelling stories about their own breast cancer, like Melissa Barlow Fischer, who shares a very personal account about how she and her sister share the BRCA 2 genetic mutation with their father, Judge James E. Barlow.
Our annual progress reports, part of Breast Cancer Deadline 2020®, summarize the state of breast cancer as well as the status of NBCC’s work to end breast cancer. These reports hold NBCC and the entire breast cancer community accountable to Breast Cancer Deadline 2020®.
Last year we released The End of Breast Cancer: A Baseline Progress Report, which gave an overview of breast cancer trends, including a discussion of the research landscape, advocacy, and public policy. The report portrayed the reality of breast cancer and the lack of adequate progress despite the significant public and private resources directed at the disease. The report also offered the advocate perspective on barriers that have hindered progress. Our next progress report will be released in the coming weeks.
We need additional co-sponsors for our legislation S. 3237 and HR 3067
Contact your Senators and Representatives. Ask them to support the Accelerating the End of Breast Cancer Act now.
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