Press Releases

San Francisco – U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) today called on Californians to make a special effort to purchase Breast Cancer Research Stamps during the month of October, in recognition of Breast Cancer Awareness Month.  

For the past two decades, Breast Cancer Awareness Month has been a time to raise awareness about the disease and to alert women and men to the importance of early detection, the best tool in the fight against breast cancer.

“I urge everyone to make a special effort this month to buy the Breast Cancer Research Stamp and help show our strong commitment to funding a cure for breast cancer.  Every dollar from the sale of this extraordinary stamp will continue to support important research and help save lives.

The Breast Cancer Research Stamp has become the top-selling fundraising stamp in United States history.  More than 825 million stamps have been sold since the stamp first went on sale 10 years ago, raising $64 million for breast cancer research.

Breast cancer has touched the lives of too many Americans and their families. One out of every eight women will get breast cancer in her lifetime.  And the disease claims another woman’s life every 13 minutes in the United States. 

But there is a bright spot.  Thanks to breakthroughs in cancer research, more and more people are becoming cancer survivors rather than cancer victims. 

And that’s why the purchase of this stamp is so critical.  So, please, get out there and buy more Breast Cancer Research Stamps and help raise much needed funding to fight this devastating disease.”

Background on the Breast Cancer Research Stamp

Legislation to create the Breast Cancer Research Stamp was signed into law by President Bill Clinton on August 13, 1997. The original sponsors for the original 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.

Last year, Congress passed legislation by Senator Feinstein that became law in December to extend the sale of the stamp for four additional years. It had been scheduled to expire on Dec. 31, 2007.

The stamp costs 55 cents and is deemed valid as a 42-cent stamp. The additional 13 cents charged for each stamp is directed to research programs at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), 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.

The funds have gone to researchers making significant advances in breast cancer research and have been used to support new programs. For example:

  • In 2006, the National Institutes for Health began to use proceeds from the stamp for a new program that helps determine which breast cancer patients are most likely to benefit from chemotherapy, and therefore, reduce the use of chemotherapy in patients that are unlikely to benefit.
  • Dr. Susan Neuhausen, at the University of California, used a National Institutes for Health “Exceptional Opportunities Award” to conduct research that has led to many insights into breast cancer risks. Specifically, by using both genetic and environmental data to identify a specific genetic mutation that may increase the risk of breast and ovarian cancer.
  • Dr. William Lee, at the University of Pennsylvania, used a National Institutes for Health award to do research focusing on the growth of blood vessels in tumors.
  • Dr. Archibald Perkins, at Yale University, used a Department of Defense “Idea Award” to do research to help with the prognosis of some breast cancers by using new techniques to identify novel genes involved in cancer.

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