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Susan G. Komen for the Cure® Applauds House Approval of Breast Cancer Research Stamp Reauthorization

Commemorative Stamp Raises $74 Million for Breast Cancer Research

WASHINGTON — December 14, 2011 — Susan G. Komen for the Cure®, the world's largest breast cancer organization, today expressed appreciation to  the U.S. Congress  for helping to fund important  breast cancer research  by approving a four-year extension of the Breast Cancer Research Stamp Act. The bill passed the House of Representatives yesterday  afternoon by a vote of 417–1. It was passed unanimously by the Senate on December 5, and now goes to President Obama for his signature.

Since the stamp was first introduced in 1998, it has generated more than $74 million for federal breast cancer research and treatment.

“We are very grateful to those lawmakers who introduced and supported this legislation,”  said Susan G. Komen Founder and CEO Ambassador Nancy G. Brinker. “More than 2.5 million people are surviving breast cancer today, but with more than 230,000 new cases of breast cancer expected to be diagnosed in the U.S. this year alone, our work is far from done. By purchasing these stamps, the American people are making an important contribution to breast cancer research. We thank them for helping to make this program such an incredible success.”

The Act extends the sale of the Breast Cancer Research Stamp through 2015. More than 924 million stamps have been sold since it was first introduced, making it the most  popular commemorative stamp in U.S. Postal Service history.  Seventy percent of the proceeds are distributed to the National Institutes of Health, and 30 percent to the Congressionally Directed Medical Research Program at the Department of Defense.

Brinker offered a  special thanks to the sponsor of the House  bill, Rep. Joe Baca (D-CA), as well as the 132 total congressional representatives who co-sponsored the bill.  Sens. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) and Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-TX), and 66 others co-sponsored the bill in the Senate.

The 44-cent stamp is sold for 55 cents, with 11 cents earmarked for breast cancer research. Designed by Postal Service Art Director Ethel Kessler, a breast cancer survivor, it features Whitney Sherman’s depiction of Diana, the goddess of the hunt, and incorporates the essential message behind the stamp:  “Fund the Fight. Find a Cure.”

Research projects funded by the stamp  include $12.5 million in NCI grants to support  research that would have otherwise gone unfunded, a clinical trial to select breast cancers for chemotherapy treatment based on indications of the risk of recurrence, and an ongoing comprehensive program in breast cancer pre-malignancy research.