Press Releases

Washington, DCWith Mother’s Day fast approaching, U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) today called on sons and daughters to use the Breast Cancer Research Stamp when sending greeting cards to their mothers.

“Using the Breast Cancer Research Stamp to send your Mother’s Day cards shows that you are committed to finding a cure for this devastating disease,” Senator Feinstein said. “Sales of the stamp have already raised over $50 million for breast cancer research. More and more people today are becoming cancer survivors, rather than cancer victims, thanks to breakthroughs in cancer research. And until a cure is found, the money from the sales of this extraordinary stamp will continue to focus public awareness on this disease and provide hope to breast cancer survivors. Sales of the stamp have been a rousing success so far, and I urge everyone to get out there and buy more Breast Cancer Research Stamps.”

The Breast Cancer Research Stamp is the first stamp of its kind dedicated to raising funds for a special cause. Since 1998 when the stamp was first introduced, the United States Postal Service has sold more than 695 million Breast Cancer Research Stamps and over $50.3 million for breast cancer research. The Breast Cancer Research stamp is the bestselling commemorative stamp in history, selling even more copies than the Elvis Presley stamp.

The stamp costs 45 cents and is deemed valid as a 39-cent stamp. The additional 6 cents charged for each stamp is directed to research programs at the National Institutes of 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. Since the creation of the stamp, NIH has received approximately $35.2 million and the DOD about $15.1 million.

Breast cancer is considered the most commonly diagnosed cancer among women in every major ethnic group in this country. Over two million women in the U.S. are living with breast cancer, one million of whom have yet to be diagnosed. One out of every 7 women will get breast cancer, the disease claiming another woman's life every 13 minutes in the United States. Though much less common, about 1,720 men are expected to be diagnosed with breast cancer in 2006.

Senator Feinstein is a strong supporter of breast cancer research funding through the National Institutes of Health, National Cancer Institute, and the Department of Defense Peer Reviewed Breast Cancer Program where she has consistently voted in to increase funding for these programs:

  • Senator Feinstein authored an amendment to the Senate Budget Resolution that added $390 million for cancer research and prevention programs. Under the amendment, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) will receive a $244.6 million increase, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) will receive an increase of $120.48 million, and the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) will receive an increase of $25 million for cancer research and prevention programs.
  • Senator Feinstein is a cosponsor of the Breast Cancer and Environmental Research Act, which authorizes $30 million a year for five years for the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences to award grants to study the relationship between environmental factors and breast cancer. Modeled after the DoD Breast Cancer Research Program, which has been so successful, it would also include consumer advocates in the peer review and programmatic review process.
  • Senator Feinstein is also an original cosponsor of the Breast Cancer Patient Protection Act, S. 910, which prohibits insurers from restricting hospital lengths of stay for mastectomy or breast conserving surgery to less than 48 hours or 24 hours in connection with a lymph node dissection and requires the patient’s doctor to obtain prior authorization for such hospital lengths of stay. The bill requires health insurance plans providing medical and surgical benefits to ensure that inpatient (and in the case of a lumpectomy, outpatient) coverage and radiation therapy are also provided for breast cancer treatment.
  • In the 108th Congress, Senator Feinstein was the author of the National Cancer Act, a comprehensive national battle plan to modernize and re-energize the Nation’s war on cancer, a war which former President Nixon declared in his State of the Union Address on January 22, 1971.
  • Senator Feinstein is the co-chair of the Senate Cancer Coalition along with Senator Sam Brownback (R-Kan.) and serves as Vice Chair of C-Change: Collaborating to Conquer Cancer along with Co-Chairs President George H.W. Bush and Mrs. Bush.