Breast Cancer Awareness in 2008
It is October, which means that there is a pink glow of breast cancer awareness everywhere you look. From its inception, the National Breast Cancer Coalition (NBCC) focused on action over awareness. On uncovering the real facts about breast cancer and making meaningful change on holding everyone involved accountable to all of us.
How far has the community come in our shared goal to end breast cancer? Nowhere near far enough. Newsweek's recent cover story "We Fought Cancer... and Cancer Won" tells an important tale about the politics of research. Billions of dollars and many decades have been devoted to cancer research, but the results have not reflected that investment of money, time and lives.
At NBCC we know that research is vital to our mission to eradicate breast cancer. We also know that it takes more than just research, time and money to make real progress. That is why NBCC developed guiding principles for breast cancer research, a blueprint for effective, efficient and patient-centered research.
There have been some successes in breast cancer. One of those stories in breast cancer research has been the development of Herceptin, a drug used to treat some women diagnosed with certain forms of aggressive breast cancer. That drug is significant because it has the capacity to target cancer cells without damaging normal tissue. Herceptin this year is commemorating its 10th year on the market. It is a fascinating example of how innovative research often struggles in this country. To learn more, check out Robert Bazell's 1998 book, Her-2: The Making of Herceptin, a Revolutionary Treatment for Breast Cancer. You can also watch Lifetime's movie adaptation, "Living Proof," to be broadcast this Saturday, October 18th at 9PM, Sunday, October 19th at 8PM and Monday, October 20that 9PM. Whether you read the book, watch the movie or both, you will find out about NBCC's role in clinical trials.
This October, and beyond, I urge you to speak up, and speak out -- in order to help move us toward the collective goal of eradicating breast cancer. Since this is an election year, be sure you understand each candidate's record on this important issue. Check NBCC's Breast Cancer Caucus to read the latest news from the campaign trail on breast cancer. While visiting, please also read NBCC's Federal Platform. And, do not forget to sign NBCC's voter pledge -- and tell all your friends to do the same. If you are on Facebook, add the voter pledge to your page and tell all your Facebook friends, so they can help spread the word.
As you know, this year alone, some 250,000 Americans will be diagnosed with breast cancer. We will get at least that many people to sign the voter pledge -- to send a message to elected officials that when it comes to breast cancer, we are watching them, and will hold them accountable for their actions.