Press Releases

Washington, DC – The U.S. Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee today approved legislation sponsored by Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) to extend the sale of the highly successful Breast Cancer Research Stamp for two additional years beyond the current expiration date of December 31, 2007.  The next step is a vote on the Senate floor.

Since the stamp first went on sale in 1998, the U.S. Postal Service has sold more than 777.7 million stamps, raising $56.08 million for breast cancer research.   The stamp marked nine consecutive years of sale this past Sunday, July 29. 

The legislation is cosponsored by Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-Texas) and a bipartisan coalition of 56 additional Senators.  

“The breast cancer research stamp has been extraordinarily successful.  Not only has the sale of the stamp raised more than $56 million in vital funds for breast cancer research, but the stamp itself has focused public awareness on the devastating disease and provided hope to breast cancer survivors,” Senator Feinstein said. “Thanks to breakthroughs in cancer research, more and more people are becoming cancer survivors rather than cancer victims.  Every dollar we continue to raise will help save lives.”

“This stamp saves lives by raising tens of millions of dollars for critical breast cancer research,” Senator Hutchison said. “Extending the sale of this stamp will keep us on the path to finding a cure for this disease which affects so many lives, not just those who suffer from it, but also their families and friends.”

The Breast Cancer Research stamp was the first stamp of its kind dedicated to raising funds for a special cause.  The renewal legislation would provide for the stamp to continue to have a surcharge above the value of a first-class stamp, with the surplus revenues going to breast cancer research.

The stamp currently costs 55 cents and is deemed valid as a 41-cent stamp. The additional 14 cents charged for each stamp is directed to research programs at the National Institute for Health, which receives 70 percent of the proceeds, and the Department of Defense breast cancer research programs, which receives the remaining 30 percent of the proceeds. 

So far, the National Institutes for Health have received $38.2 million and the Department of Defense has received $16.4 million to fund innovative research of breast cancer. 

California continues to be one of the leading contributors purchasing over 47 million stamps with $3.6 million going to research – almost 15 percent of the nationwide contribution.

About 3 million women in the United States are living with breast cancer, one million of whom have yet to be diagnosed. One out of every 8 women will get breast cancer at some point in her lifetime, just as one out of every 6 men will have prostate cancer. The disease claims another woman's life every 13 minutes in the United States. Breast cancer is considered the most commonly diagnosed cancer among women in every major ethnic group in the United States, other than skin cancer.  Though much less common, the American Cancer Society estimates that about 2,030 American men will be diagnosed with breast cancer this year.  

Originally created in 1997, Congress has reauthorized the stamp three times. The original cosponsors for the bill were Senators Feinstein, Alfonse D’Amato (R-NY), and Lauch Faircloth (R-NC) in the Senate, and Representatives Vic Fazio (D-CA) and Susan Molinari (R-NY) in the House.