March 17, 2015

Senators Re-introduce Bipartisan Bill Aimed at Helping to End Breast Cancer by 2020

Washington, D.C. – Sens. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.), Jack Reed (D-R.I.), Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), Dean Heller (R-Nev.), Susan Collins (R-Maine), Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.) and Bob Casey (D-Pa.) this week reintroduced bipartisan legislation to help end breast cancer by creating a clearinghouse and catalyst for research, public-private partnerships and trans-disciplinary collaboration.

“Every year, tens of thousands of American women die from breast cancer,” Whitehouse said. “This legislation will help drive the development of better treatments for breast cancer, and sets the ambitious goal of ending breast cancer by the end of the decade.  And I appreciate the opportunity to work with Judiciary Chairman Grassley to rally support from our colleagues and get this enacted into law.”

“Some breast cancer survivors have a saying that ‘problems wouldn’t be called “hurdles” if there isn’t a way to overcome them.’  We’ve come so far in the fight against breast cancer: advancing research, raising awareness, and improving treatment options.  We still have a ways to go and this bill is designed to accelerate innovation, collaboration, and the eradication of this disease by 2020,” Reed said.

“Breast cancer is much too common and results in tens of thousands of deaths every year,” Grassley said.  “We need an all-hands-on-deck approach that brings experts together with the goal of making a breakthrough for a cure.”

“As one of the most pressing health concerns in this country, breast cancer remains the disease many Americans fear most, and it is past time we change that mentality. My family has been touched by this sickness, and I know the difficulty that comes with the day-to-day life of breast cancer patients.  That is why I am determined to help eradicate this horrible illness – the Accelerating the End of Breast Cancer Act of 2015 will move us toward that goal,” Heller said.  “I am proud to work with Senators Grassley, Whitehouse, Reed, Collins, Brown, Capito and Casey on this important piece of bipartisan legislation.”

“Breast cancer has taken a tremendous toll on far too many Americans and their families, and for this reason I’m proud to support the ambitious goal to end breast cancer by 2020,” Collins said. “By identifying promising research and creating partnerships between the government and the private sector, we can grow closer to finding better treatments and eventually, a cure.”

“Far too many families have been affected by breast cancer. We owe it to all those who’ve fought breast cancer to dedicate ourselves to eliminating this disease,” Brown said.  “This bipartisan bill will help lead to new investments and partnerships that will advance life-saving research to put an end to breast cancer for good.”

“Many families in West Virginia and across America have been affected by breast cancer, and I am no exception. My mother-in-law, Ruth Eskew Capito, died tragically at age 51 after being diagnosed with breast cancer,” Capito said. “We must direct our limited research dollars to funding the most promising breast cancer research, and this bill does just that.  I am pleased to join members from both sides of the aisle as we work to end this heartbreaking disease.”

“Breast cancer is a terrible disease that touches far too many families across Pennsylvania and throughout our nation,” Casey said. “This is legislation that will help promote innovative new methods of collaboration across sectors that can help advance research to end breast cancer.”

The Accelerating the End of Breast Cancer Act of 2015, S. 746, would establish a “Commission to Accelerate the End of Breast Cancer” to help end breast cancer by 2020.  The commission would identify promising research, encourage partnerships between the public and private sectors, and create opportunities for trans-disciplinary collaboration that may advance the mission of ending breast cancer.  It’s meant to fill a void in bringing these entities and information together.  As a measure of accountability, the commission would be subject to termination after three years if it doesn’t show progress toward meeting its goals.

An estimated 232,670 cases of breast cancer were diagnosed and an estimated 40,000 deaths from the disease occurred in 2014, according to the National Cancer Institute.  An estimated 2,899,726 women were living with breast cancer in the United States in 2011. 


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