In celebration of Women’s Health Week, U.S. Senator Mike Enzi and Congresswoman Liz Cheney, both R-Wyo., along with Senator Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., and Representative Jackie Speier, D-Calif., led the introduction of the Breast Cancer Research Stamp Reauthorization Act to reauthorize the Breast Cancer Research Stamp through 2027. U.S. Senator John Barrasso, R-Wyo., cosponsored the legislation.
The Breast Cancer Research Stamp was first issued in 1998 and has since raised $89 million to fund research into breast cancer treatment, one of the most commonly diagnosed forms of cancer in women.
“Breast cancer affects too many of our loved ones,” Enzi said. “This stamp provides the opportunity for anyone to make a small contribution that will make a big difference in the fight against breast cancer. Since 1998, this stamp has raised tens of millions of dollars. This bill would help ensure that research and innovation continues to treat and hopefully find a cure for those with breast cancer.”
“Creating the Breast Cancer Research Stamp is one of the truly great things that Congress has done,” Cheney said. “The opportunity for us to fight a disease that impacts one out of every eight women is the definition of common sense, and we’ve seen how successful this initiative has been since its inception over two decades ago. It’s vitally important that we reauthorize this program and continue to combat the devastating impact that breast cancer has so that we can give more women the chance at longer and healthier lives.”
"As both a doctor and a husband of a breast cancer survivor, I know firsthand how important medical research can be in saving lives," Barrasso said. "Finding a cure for cancer is one issue that brings both Republicans and Democrats together. We all want to eliminate breast cancer once and for all—and this important program will help bring us one step closer to that goal."
More than two decades ago, breast cancer surgeon Dr. Ernie Bodai launched a campaign to create the Breast Cancer Research Stamp. With the help of Dr. Bodai and breast cancer survivors, Congress passed legislation in 1998 to create the stamp, and since then more than 1 billion stamps have been sold in the United States, raising $89 million for breast cancer research. The current authorization of the stamp expires this year, putting critical research and development at risk.
The stamp was designed by Ethel Kessler, a breast cancer survivor from Bethesda, Md., and illustrated by Whitney Sherman of Baltimore, Md. It is available for U.S. Postal Service customers to purchase for 10 cents more than a regular first-class postage.
The stamp’s revenues cover USPS’s administrative costs and fund breast cancer research programs at the National Institutes of Health and the Department of Defense. The Breast Cancer Research Stamp Reauthorization Act is budget neutral, meaning no additional funding is required.
The bill is supported by the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network, the American College of Surgeons, Susan G. Komen, the American Association for Cancer Research, the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecologists, the Breast Cancer Research Foundation and Are You Dense, Inc.