If signed into law, the Breast Cancer and Environment Research Act (H.R. 1157) would create programs and funding through the National Institutes of Health (NIH) for increased research into environmental causes of breast cancer. According to a press release from the National Breast Cancer Coalition (NBCC), at a Wednesday, May 21, 2008, hearing before the House Energy and Commerce’s Subcommittee on Health, representatives for the NBCC testified in support of H.R. 1157.
The NBCC is a grassroots organization dedicated to ending breast cancer through the power of action and advocacy. The Coalition’s main goals are to increase federal funding for breast cancer research and collaborate with the scientific community to implement new models of research; improve access to high-quality healthcare and breast cancer clinical trials for all women; and expand the influence of breast cancer advocates wherever breast cancer decisions are made.
The enactment into law of H.R. 1157-and its Senate companion bill, S. 579-would further the mission of the NBCC and breast cancer research overall. The legislation would include the following:
- Authorization for the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to develop a collaborative, peer-reviewed grant program to study environmental factors that are believed to contribute to breast cancer. Key components of this research program are:
- Competitive, peer-reviewed grants to support multi-institutional, multi-disciplinary research on the potential links between breast cancer and the environment;
- Use of a broad definition of environment;
- Involvement of trained consumers in the decision-making process;
- Collaboration between grantees; and
- Participation of community organizations.
- Authorization of $40 million per year in fiscal years 2008-2012 for the above programs
According to Fran Visco, NBCC president, “The Breast Cancer and Environmental Research Act is vital because it establishes a national strategy to study the links between the environment and breast cancer.” The NBCC reports that since its introduction in 1999, H.R. 1157 has made significant legislative progress, keeping its supporters hopeful.
- National Breast Cancer Coalition to Testify on May 21st about the Breast Cancer and Environmental Research Act (H.R. 1157) [press release]. May 19, 2008. National Breast Cancer Coalition. www.stopbreastcancer.org.
- Enactment of the Breast Cancer and Environmental Research Act (S.579/H.R.1157). National Breast Cancer Coalition. http://www.stopbreastcancer.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=334. Accessed May 30, 2008.