We are happy to have the following guest blog from the National Breast Cancer Coalition (NBCC) President, Fran Visco, talking about setting a deadline to end breast cancer in 2020. NBCC is one of our collaborators and have played a key role in the success of the Army of Women. Read this important piece from Fran and I hope you take a minute to learn more and get involved with the Breast Cancer Deadline 2020.
Special Message from Fran Visco
On September 20, 2010, we called for a global strategy to end breast cancer by January 1, 2020. We launched Breast Cancer Deadline 2020®. When we announced this bold move, Susan Love said, “We can be the generation that stops breast cancer—and we must be the generation that stops breast cancer.” It’s time. With the power, commitment, passion, intelligence and courage of our advocates at NBCC, we will make this happen.
By calling for an end to breast cancer, we’re calling for an end of business as usual. Breast Cancer Deadline 2020® changes the conversation from raising awareness about the disease to one that asks, “What must we do differently to end breast cancer by January 1, 2020? How do we succeed?” It upends “business as usual” and brings back the sense of urgency needed to save lives.
A Deadline Is Not Enough—We Need a Plan
NBCC knows setting a deadline is not enough. There must be a plan. We have developed a strategic plan for meeting the deadline and we are engaging all who can help achieve the deadline goal. Stakeholders who will come to the table to help end breast cancer will include representatives of the scientific, regulatory and health care communities, industry, policy makers or advocates. Stakeholders will also include visionary, high-risk, high-impact leaders who can provide valuable perspectives. No one who can help will be excluded.
How will we meet the Deadline?
- Scientific Summits
NBCC advocates believe breast cancer can be eradicated by focusing and aggregating efforts on two key areas: learning how to stop breast cancer metastasis from taking lives and learning how to prevent the disease from developing. We will host two Strategic Summits this year—one on metastasis and one on prevention—bringing together 25-30 leading investigators from academia, industry, government, regulators and advocates. Workshops will then be held around these issues in 2012 and beyond.
We have already begun this work. In March 2010, we began looking at the feasibility of a preventive vaccine for breast cancer. Some of the leading breast cancer researchers, as well as a cadre of multi-disciplinary visionaries are working on this, NBCC’s Artemis Project, to develop a vaccine ready for clinical trials in five years.
- Breast Cancer Deadline 2020 Legislation
By setting a deadline, our advocates demand that from this moment forward, all research and policy decisions surrounding breast cancer are made and guided by the goal of ending this disease by 2020. This month, NBCC is convening a small group of individuals who think innovatively about how governments should work and what role they play in research and health care. As an outcome of this public policy roundtable, we will develop legislation that will help achieve Breast Cancer Deadline 2020.
- Annual Progress Reports
Beginning with a baseline report in May 2011, NBCC will issue annual progress reports about Breast Cancer Deadline 2020®, summarizing the state of breast cancer as well as the state of our own work to end breast cancer.
I invite you to join our ever-growing coalition of individuals and groups committed to working to end breast cancer by 2020. Are you with us?
Actions You Can Take to Advance Breast Cancer Deadline 2020®
Here are a few actions you can take today to help make Breast Cancer Deadline 2020® a reality:
- Register for NBCC’s 2011 Annual Advocacy Training Conference
NBCC invites you to become educated about Breast Cancer Deadline 2020®. From April 30-May 3, 2011, NBCC will host its Annual Advocacy Training Conference, during which you can learn how you play a vital role in changing the conversation to support Breast Cancer Deadline 2020®. The final day of the NBCC conference, advocates go directly to the nation’s decision makers and ask them to change the conversation in public policy and scientific research to carve out the path that will move us toward the end of breast cancer by January 1, 2020. Register before February 11 at www.BreastCancerDeadline2020.org/2011Conference to get the early bird discount ($125 for NBCC members. $160 for non-members).
- Enlist Your Community in Breast Cancer Deadline 2020®
There are many groups and individuals who want to see an end to breast cancer but don’t yet know about Breast Cancer Deadline 2020®. Identify, engage, educate and encourage them to get involved. NBCC has tools and information to help grassroots supporters bring Breast Cancer Deadline 2020® to your community.
Visit www.BreastCancerDeadline2020.org to learn more.
- Urge Your Senators and Representatives to Support Breast Cancer Deadline 2020®
NBCC’s Action Center has messages and tools to help you send information to your members of Congress so they know their constituents support Breast Cancer Deadline 2020®—and are calling on them to support it as well.