Senator Clinton Joins Bipartisan Coalition of Senators to Reintroduce Breast Cancer Research Bill
Clinton-Backed Bill Would Help Spur Research on Links Between Environmental Pollutants and Breast Cancer
Washington, DC - Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton announced today that she has joined with a bipartisan coalition of Senators, led by Senator Harry Reid, to reintroduce the Breast Cancer and Environmental Research Act. The legislation would create NIH-funded research centers to explore the links between environmental pollutants and breast cancer. A companion bill will soon be introduced in the House of Representatives.
"We are only just beginning to understand the connection between environmental hazards and breast cancer. We need to expand this promising research so we can do everything we can to uncover hazards and address them," said Senator Clinton.
Breast Cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death for women in the United States. Three million women in the United States are currently living with breast cancer, one million of whom have not yet been diagnosed. On average, over 13,000 new cases of breast cancer are diagnosed each year in New York State, with about 3,000 annual deaths caused by this disease.
The Breast Cancer and Environmental Research Act would direct $40 million annually to establish Breast Cancer and Environmental Research Centers of Excellence in order to conduct collaborative research on environmental factors that are linked to breast cancer. It would also establish a panel of experts, including patient advocates, to develop a comprehensive strategy for research in this area. The bill was approved by the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee in June. Senator Clinton pressed for the bill to be considered on the Senate floor but the Republican leadership blocked Senate passage.
Several New York universities are already engaging in innovative research in this area. Last year, Senator Clinton visited Cornell University's Sprecher Institute for Comparative Cancer Research and met with researchers from their program on Breast Cancer and Environmental Risk Factors, who are working to translate this research to help women understand and minimize their environmentally-connected risks.
Senator Clinton has long been active in promoting increased research into links between health and the environment. In 2001, she worked with her colleagues on the Environment and Public Works Committee to hold a field hearing in Long Island on the possible links between the environment and breast cancer. She has also introduced the Coordinated Environmental Health Network Act, which would establish a nationwide tracking network to help identify connections between disease and environment, develop a response system for addressing public health threats, and expand the biomonitoring work of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.