Friday, October 14, 2016
Billy Long: I will fight for a cure for breast cancer
October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. This month is a reminder of the many lives lost to this scourge of a disease. According to the American Cancer Society, in 2016 they estimated that there will be 246,660 new cases of breast cancer diagnosed in women and in the same year, 40,450 women will die from breast cancer. For men, the numbers are much lower, but still alarming. In 2016 they estimated there will be 2,600 new cases of breast cancer for men and that 440 men will die from breast cancer in the same year.
1 in 8 women will develop breast cancer, whereas for men it’s 1 in 30.
However, there is good news. In 2000, breast cancer started decreasing among women. Between 2002 and 2003 it dropped by 7 percent. As for men, the rate of breast cancer has been essentially the same over the last 30 years.
As a Congressman, I have done all that I can to make sure that I and other elected officials continue to put forth legislation that helps reduce cancer, but more specifically breast cancer.
This legislative session I cosponsored a bill, “Accelerating the End of Breast Cancer Act of 2015,” that would direct the president to establish the Commission to Accelerate the End of Breast Cancer. This commission would be responsible for several different tasks: looking for opportunities in both the private sector and government that would work to end breast cancer, propose opportunities based on their findings to prevent breast cancer and finally, ensure that their efforts are not efforts that are already taking place or have in the past.
Even before this legislative session, I worked to raise awareness for breast cancer as well as cosponsored efforts that would help raise money for the cause.
In 2011, I supported a bill that allowed the U.S. Postal Service, for 4 years, to issue a charity stamp that would raise money for breast cancer research.
This important bill was signed into law.
Though we have hit a few bumps in the road, it doesn’t mean I won’t continue to fight for a cure and legislation that could find or fund that cure. Too many lives and people are affected by this disease to just sit back and ignore it