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Public Statements

Statements on Introduced Bills and Joint Resolutions

Location: Washington, DC



Mrs. CLINTON. Mr. President, today I am proud to introduce the Breast Cancer and Environmental Research Act with Senator Reid and colleagues from both sides of the aisle.

This legislation would allow us to investigate the links between environmental exposures and breast cancer. Improving our ability to investigate the connection between pollutants and cancer incidence is the first step in improving our overall response to environmental health concerns. Environmental hazards manifest themselves in unexpected cancers, tumors, and other diseases in ways that we are only now beginning to understand.

Breast cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death for women in the United States, and 3 million women in the United States are currently living with the disease 1 million of whom have not yet been diagnosed. Each year, over 13,000 women in New York State are diagnosed with this disease. Every one of us has been affected by breast cancer, whether it is through our own personal battle or our experiences offering love and support to our friends, our mothers, and our sisters.

Since 2001, I have sought to raise awareness of the need for increased research into the connections between environmental factors and the incidence of chronic diseases like breast cancer. I have worked closely with advocates from New York on this issue, and hosted a field hearing of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee in Long Island to discuss breast cancer and other environmental health concerns.

The bill that we are introducing today will expand the available resources for our scientists and expedite research in this area. The Breast Cancer and Environmental Research Act will create Centers of Excellence to engage in multidisciplinary research, carried out in collaboration with the community, and learn more about how environmental factors may be linked to the more than 200,000 breast cancer cases diagnosed each year.

I am hopeful that in the not-too-distant future, the incidence of breast cancer will be dramatically reduced, and in the handful of new cases that appear, we will be able to provide high-quality, highly effective treatment and save women's lives. But in order to achieve those goals, we need to learn more about all the causes of breast cancer, including the environmental factors that contribute to this disease.

Last year, the Breast Cancer and Environmental Research Act was reported unanimously out of the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee. I will work with my colleagues there to once again move it through the committee process quickly, so that we can pass this essential legislation in this session of Congress.

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