WASHINGTON – Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee Chairman Susan Collins, R-Me., and Ranking Member Joe Lieberman, D-Conn., Friday hailed Congressional approval of a two-year extension to the breast cancer research stamp. The measure – sponsored by Senators Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., and Kay Baily Hutchison, R-Texas, and co-sponsored by Collins and Lieberman – is now on its way to President Bush’s desk for signing. The Senate approved the extension in September and the House followed suit last week. To date, the stamp has raised $47.9 million for breast cancer research.
“Despite recent major and encouraging advances in breast cancer research, there are still far too many women who are affected by this disease,” Senator Collins said. “The breast cancer stamp has played an important role in raising money for research. It has been an effective tool and should be extended.” “The breast cancer stamp has raised millions of dollars for research into a disease that will kill 40,000 women this year,” Senator Lieberman said. “It is a creative way to help the effort to find a cure for this virulent disease, and I’m pleased it will be extended for two additional years.” The breast cancer stamp is the first of its kind dedicated to raising money for a specific cause. Since 1998 when the stamp was first introduced, the United States Postal Service has sold more than 657.5 million Breast Cancer Research Stamps. In the month of September 2005, 6.9 million stamps were sold. Without this legislation, the stamp was set to expire at the end of 2005. Seventy percent of the proceeds from the stamp will continue to go to breast cancer research programs at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and 30 percent of the proceeds will continue going to research programs at the Department of Defense (DOD). Breast cancer is considered the most commonly diagnosed cancer among women in every major ethnic group in this country. Over two million women in the U.S. are living with breast cancer, one million of whom have yet to be diagnosed. This year, approximately 211,240 women in this country will get breast cancer and about 40,410 women will die from this dreadful disease. Though much less common, about 1,300 men in America are diagnosed with breast cancer each year.