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Clinton Hails Key Senate Committee Passage of Breast Cancer Bill

Location: Washington, DC

Clinton Hails Key Senate Committee Passage of Breast Cancer Bill

Clinton-backed bill would help research link between environmental pollutants and breast cancer

Washington, DC - Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton hailed passage by the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee of the Breast Cancer and Environmental Research Act, legislation that would authorize the creation of NIH-funded research centers to explore the links between environmental pollutants and breast cancer. Senator Clinton is an original cosponsor of this legislation.

"With increased research, we can learn more about the environmental factors that contribute to chronic disease." Senator Clinton said. "I am proud that we are making the commitment to improving our ability to investigate the links between pollutants and breast cancer. This legislation is the first step in improving our overall response to environmental health concerns."

Fran Visco, President of the National Breast Cancer Coalition (NBCC), welcomed passage of the bill and praised Senator Clinton's leadership of on this issue. "We are grateful for Senator Clinton's' leadership and steadfast support over the years, for the Breast Cancer and Environmental Research Act. As a lead sponsor of this bill, Senator Clinton has worked with the advocacy community and within the Senate to advance our cause. This landmark breast cancer legislation recognizes that it is time for a national strategy to address the connection between the environment and the development of breast cancer. Now, thanks in large part to the key efforts of Senator Clinton, the Breast Cancer and Environmental Research Act moves to the full Senate. NBCC is committed to working with Senator Clinton to make certain the bill is enacted this year, so that we can discover the causes of breast cancer, and gain the knowledge needed to prevent it, treat it more effectively, and hopefully, eradicate this disease."

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 $30 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.

Several New York universities are already engaging in innovative research in this area. Earlier this 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.

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