Breast Cancer Caucus Plays an Active Role in Politics
You must know that next month is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Everywhere you turn, there will be a sea of pink. Pink stickers on cars, pink pins, pink buildings and bridges, even airplanes painted pink. How nice. I decided years ago that I've had it with pink: I want action. And action is what the National Breast Cancer Coalition is all about. This October we have decided to acknowledge awareness month with more action: we will launch our online Breast Cancer Caucus.
In August I outlined the questions we intend to ask the presidential candidates. The Breast Cancer Caucus will give you a chance to learn what the candidates actually said. You'll be able to see videos they sent, explaining how they would end breast cancer and their written responses to our questions.
The next step is yours. We want you to visit the Breast Cancer Caucus site, and vote for the candidate you believe would do the most to end breast cancer. We also want you to post your own videos on YouTube. Respond to the candidates' answers. Ask new questions. Tell us what you think of our priorities for ending breast cancer. Let's get a discussion going on what needs to be done to end breast cancer.
Now, because it's October, the candidates are listening especially hard. You need to let them know that breast cancer is an issue that voters care about, because some three million people in this country are living with this disease, more than 240,000 will be diagnosed and 40,000 will die of breast cancer this year alone. And while broadly worded statements like "I support women with breast cancer" give some comfort, we need specifics.
We need to know where the presidential candidates stand on breast cancer and the environment, specifically the Breast Cancer and Environmental Research Act. What kind of federal funding they are prepared to fight for, and if they support the Department of Defense Peer-Reviewed Breast Cancer Research Program. What steps they will take, once in office, to guarantee access to quality health care for all. Whether they will preserve the Medicaid Breast and Cervical Cancer Treatment Program. Now is the time to get these answers. And now is the time we must make ourselves heard.
Breast cancer is a political issue. And women with breast cancer and all who care about the issue have become politically active. Why? Because we do not know how to prevent breast cancer, how to detect it truly early, and how to cure it. And the federal government has a huge role to play in getting those answers. Many people would be surprised that we know so little, given the proliferation of pink ribbons and "awareness" that seems to be all around you. But there is not much awareness about the lack of knowledge and horrifying statistics of breast cancer. You can change that.
Come October, visit http://www.breastcancercaucus.org/ , voice your views in the Breast Cancer Caucus, and ask your family, friends and colleagues to do the same.
Take the National Breast Cancer Coalition's awareness quiz: