Chris Hansen, ACS CAN President

ACS CAN President Lisa Lacasse shares her views on the impact of advocacy on the cancer fight.

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Guest Post: Giving the Stamp of Approval to Breast Cancer Research

October 29, 2015

Breast Cancer Awareness Month may be winding down, but we shouldnŠ—'t look at the end of the month as an opportunity to turn our attention elsewhere. While we have made many strides in our ability to better understand how to detect and treat breast cancer, it remains the second leading cause of cancer death in women. ACS CAN will continue to advocate for improved access to proven screenings and treatments through adequate funding of the Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection Program and increased access to Medicaid coverage in every state. I invited U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein, a steadfast advocate for cancer patients across the country, to share a guest post on an additional way that we can all support research to help further advance our progress in reducing death and suffering from breast cancer. Today, weŠ—'re faced with a wide range of ways to support the fight against breast cancer during Breast Cancer Awareness Month. As the month comes to a close, however, we must remember that breast cancer doesnŠ—'t take a break. All of us must continue to work together to battle this deadly disease long after the pink displays disappear. One in eight women in this country will be diagnosed with breast cancer during her lifetime. According to the American Cancer Society, breast cancer is the second most common cancer among women. ItŠ—'s estimated that weŠ—'ll lose approximately 40,000 lives in this country from breast cancer this year. To beat breast cancer, we canŠ—'t focus on increasing awareness or finding a cure for just 31 days. If youŠ—'re wondering how you can help all year long, the answer is simple: Buy breast cancer research stamps. The stamp offers a simple way to contribute to improved screening, diagnosis and treatment. It has been incredibly successful, raising $81 million for life-saving research over the past 17 years. The stamp is a small symbol of hope that makes a big difference. ItŠ—'s available at your local post office and at the U.S. Postal ServiceŠ—'s website. And weŠ—'re working with major retailers to make the stamp available where you shop and buy groceries. The stamp, which currently costs 60 cents, provides first-class postage. The additional 11 cents over the regular postal rate funds breast cancer research at the National Institutes of Health and the Department of DefenseŠ—'s Medical Research Program. Last holiday season, the post office delivered 463 million pieces of mail in December. If each piece of mail had been delivered with one breast cancer research stamp, more than $50 million dollars would have been raised in just one month. We have the potential to make a huge difference by handling a simple taskŠ—”mailing a holiday cardŠ—”just a bit differently. The proceeds from the stamp contribute to programs at the National Cancer Institute that focus on how to improve early detection of breast cancer. Scientists at the agency study how cancers originate and develop in order to improve prevention, screening, diagnosis and treatment. One example of how research funded by the stamp has helped scientists is the discovery of ways to reduce patient resistance to the drug Herceptin, so it remains an effective treatment option. They are also working to find better ways to predict whether seemingly benign tumors and lesions found through cancer screening are likely to grow and become life-threatening, as well as investigate links between pregnancy factors and breast cancer risk. Winning the fight against cancer depends on making this a year-round battle, and you can help support this fight 365 days a year by using the breast cancer research stamp whenever you put something in the mail. Senator Feinstein is also the lead cosponsor of a bipartisan bill that gives women information about the potential impact breast density has in masking breast cancer.