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Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Location: Washington, DC


Ms. STABENOW. Mr. President, this week marks the close of National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and today is a time for many of us to reflect on how cancer has touched virtually every American's life. According to the American Cancer Society, one in two men and one in three women will be diagnosed with cancer. We have made important advances in treating cancer victims, but we are not yet at our ultimate goal of finding a cure.

I am pleased to announce that my alma mater, Michigan State University, is one of the leaders in finding a cure for breast cancer. Michigan State was one of only four institutions nationwide to receive a grant from the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences and the National Cancer Institute to study the prenatal-to-adult environmental exposures that may predispose a woman to breast cancer.

But this is just a down-payment in ending breast cancer. It is generally believed that the environment plays some role in the development of breast cancer, but the extent of that role is not understood. If we can identify those risks, we can stop the disease. More research needs to be done to determine the impact of the environment on breast cancer, which has been understudied in the past.

To do so, I urge my colleagues to support S.983, the Breast Cancer and Environmental Research Act, to ensure that this research continues. This legislation would create a new mechanism for environmental health research and provide a unique process by which centers are selected. Modeled after the Defense Department's Breast Cancer Research Program, which has been so successful, it would also include consumer advocates in the peer review and programmatic review process.

It would be amazing if the research about to be conducted at Michigan State led to a cure for breast cancer. But that dream can only happen if scientists, doctors, and others have the right resources. Let's continue to fight the war against cancer.

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