Breast cancer has touched the lives of millions of American families. This week two members of Congress revealed how they are working to help increase research and awareness of the disease which is now the second leading cause of cancer death in women.
Local Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney and Texas Congressman Pete Sessions announced plans to raise millions of dollars for the fight against breast cancer through the “Breast Cancer Awareness Commemorative Coin Act,” which would direct the U.S. Treasury to issue gold coins, clad with a design to symbolize the fight against breast cancer. The production cost of these coins will be fully covered within the sales price, and the proceeds will benefit the Breast Cancer Research Foundation (BCRF), headquartered in New York, and Susan G. Komen for the Cure, headquartered in Texas. The bill has been co-sponsored by 306 Members of the House.
The two reps were joined for the announcement by Breast Cancer Research Foundation President Myra Biblowit, President and CEO of Susan G. Komen, Dr. Judith Salerno and breast cancer survivors.
“Breast cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death in women, and the only way for us to eradicate it is through research to find a cure and increased awareness and screenings,” said Maloney. “There are only a handful of ways Congress can raise money to assist this fight at no cost to taxpayers and creating a commemorative coin is one. If we pass this bill, we can provide millions of dollars to raise awareness and accelerate research.”
It is estimated that over 231,000 new cases of breast cancer will occur in the U.S. in 2015, and tragically 40,000 women will die from it. In addition, there are over 3.1 million breast cancer survivors in the US.
The Breast Cancer Awareness Commemorative Coin Act was first introduced by Rep. Maloney in the 113th Congress. This bipartisan bill was widely supported by a total of 195 co-sponsors, with 57 Republicans and 138 Democrats. Breast cancer is the most frequently diagnosed cancer among nearly every racial and ethnic group. Clinical advances resulting from research have led to increased survival rates, and death rates have dropped over 34 percent since 1990.
The Breast Cancer Research Foundation (BCRF) has raised more than $500 million for research, making it one of the largest supporters of privately funded research across 25 states and 14 countries.
Susan G. Komen has spent over $847 million on research in 48 states and around the world. The organization provides peer-reviewed research grants, which have resulted in breakthrough scientific discoveries to bring the eradication of breast cancer closer.