Press Releases

Stamp has raised more than $81 million for research

Washington—The U.S. House of Representatives today approved legislation to renew congressional approval for the breast cancer research stamp through 2019, sending the bill to President Obama for his signature. The stamp has raised $81 million for breast cancer research since its creation in 1998.

The bill was introduced by Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) and Mike Enzi (R-Wyo.) in the Senate, and Representatives Jackie Speier (D-Calif.) and Cynthia Lummis (R-Wyo.) in the House.

The breast cancer research stamp provides first-class postage and currently costs 60 cents. The additional 11 cents over the regular postal rate helps fund breast cancer research at the National Institutes of Health and the Medical Research Program at the Department of Defense.

The idea for the stamp was devised by Dr. Ernie Bodai, a Sacramento breast cancer surgeon. Dr. Bodai partnered with Betsy Mullen, a breast cancer survivor from San Diego, and David Goodman from Orinda, who lost his wife to breast cancer, to advocate for the creation of the stamp.

“The breast cancer research stamp has been incredibly successful. It has raised more than $81 million for life-saving research, and the 1 billionth stamp will soon be sold,” said Senator Feinstein. “The stamp offers Americans a simple way to contribute to improved screening, diagnosis and treatment for a cancer that claims the lives of more than 40,000 women each year. To ensure the stamp’s continued success, I look forward working with the Post Office and nationwide retailers to increase awareness of the stamp and make sure it’s widely available.”

“With so much at stake in the fight against breast cancer, I am glad to see the House take action and pass this important legislation,” said Senator Enzi. “Breast cancer takes too many of our loved ones. We have already raised millions of dollars through this program to help with research against this deadly disease and renewal of this legislation will continue to support innovation, bringing us closer to a cure.”

“The passage of this bill is an important victory for women, men, and their families in the battle against breast cancer,” said Rep. Speier. “One in eight American women develops invasive breast cancer during her lifetime and it is the second leading cause of cancer death in women. By selling this stamp, the U.S. Postal Service has raised over $81.8 million for breast cancer research since its creation in 1998 at no additional cost to taxpayers. Its reauthorization is a crucial step toward finally discovering a cure for this terrible disease.”

“Since 1998, this has been an effective, budget-neutral way to fund critical research to treat and hopefully one day cure this disease,” said Rep. Lummis. “For the health of all Americans, both women and men, it is important that we continue to support this fiscally responsible funding of medical research. I am proud to join my friend Jackie Speier and our House colleagues to pass this reauthorization bill to, as the stamp says, ‘Fund the fight. Find the cure.’”

“I am thrilled that the breast cancer research stamp will be reauthorized for an additional four years,” said Dr. Ernie Bodai. “To date, the stamp has raised more than $81 million for much-needed research. These funds have resulted in major advances not only in breast cancer, but other malignancies as well. I am truly grateful for Congress’ ongoing support of the stamp.”

 Proceeds from the stamp help fund the National Cancer Institute’s breast cancer research programs. These programs focus on how to improve early detection of breast cancer. Scientists study how cancers originate and develop in order to improve prevention, screening, diagnosis and treatment.

Scientists also research how to identify markers that precede the development of breast cancer, find better ways to predict whether tumors and lesions found through cancer screening are likely to become life-threatening and investigate links between pregnancy factors and breast cancer risk.

The bill is supported by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, American Association for Cancer Research, American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network, the American College of Surgeons, Are You Dense Advocacy, Breast Cancer Fund, Center for Women Policy Studies, Susan G. Komen, Breast Cancer Research Foundation and Tigerlily Foundation.