Nearly 1 billion stamps have raised more than $78 million

Washington—Each month, hundreds of thousands of Breast Cancer Research Stamps are sold across the country, with each stamp contributing to the fight against this deadly disease.

In March 2014, 999,000 stamps were sold, raising more than $110,000 for research efforts. Since the first stamp was issued on July 29, 1998, more than 970 million stamps have been sold, raising more than $78.6 million for breast cancer research.

“Every time I receive a letter with a breast cancer research stamp, I smile,” said Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), who first sponsored the bill creating the stamp in 1997. “These little stamps pack a big punch, so far raising more than $78 million for breast cancer research.”

The breast cancer stamp currently costs 60 cents and is deemed valid as a 49-cent first-class stamp. The additional 11 cents charged for each stamp goes to research. Seventy percent of the research funds generated by the stamp go to research programs at the National Institutes of Health, while the remaining 30 percent goes to the Department of Defense breast cancer research program.

“The good news is that researchers continue to make breakthroughs on new treatments,” Feinstein said. “More and more women are beating this disease, with the survival rate when detected early now at 99 percent. The bad news is that more than 40,000 women die each year from breast cancer. Until that number is down to zero, we still need to focus on new treatments, and I’m proud the breast cancer research stamp is making a real difference.”

The idea behind the stamp originated in California when a Sacramento breast cancer surgeon, Dr. Ernie Bodai, teamed with Betsy Mullen, a breast cancer survivor from San Diego, and David Goodman, who lost his wife to breast cancer and hails from Orinda, to lobby for creation of the stamp.

The stamp was designed by breast cancer survivor Ethel Kessler of Bethesda, Md. Senator Feinstein worked with then-senators Alfonse D’Amato (R-N.Y.) and Lauch Faircloth (R-N.C.) on the original Senate bill to authorize the stamp. Since 1998, legislation to reauthorize the stamp has been passed five times.

A high-resolution image of the stamp is available here.

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