The National Breast Cancer Coalition (NBCC) has one mission: to end breast cancer. And we have set a deadline: Jan. 1, 2020. We are holding ourselves, policymakers and scientists accountable to reaching this deadline. This is a bold move, we know. But we are tired of accepting the status quo and celebrating progress that isn’t really progress. This year, we are expected to lose an estimated 40,290 women and 440 men to breast cancer in the United States. Globally, more than 522,000 women died of breast cancer. This is why we set the deadline. How are we going to create a world where no one will ever again hear the words, “You have breast cancer?”
Since the launch of the Breast Cancer Deadline 2020 campaign in 2010, the National Breast Cancer Coalition has moved quickly to put a plan into action. NBCC’s Blueprint for achieving Breast Cancer Deadline 2020 describes how we will harness and mobilize the resources necessary to get there. Our plan involves public policy, education and outreach, and innovative research. NBCC’s Artemis Project is an advocate-led, mission-driven approach of strategic summits, research action plans and collaborative efforts of various stakeholders, including renowned experts in epidemiology, immunology, clinical care, biotechnology and product development. The Artemis Project focuses on two important areas of research. The first is primary prevention, and the immediate project is developing a preventive breast-cancer vaccine. A vaccine would mean that the next generation of women and men will not get breast cancer in the first place.
The second area focuses on prevention of metastasis; understanding how and why breast cancer spreads to other organs, which causes 90 percent of breast-cancer deaths. Advocates and researchers are studying tumor dormancy; trying to uncover why some tumors remain dormant while others become lethal metastases. With less than five years remaining until the deadline, it is critical that we continue to put forth our most ambitious efforts and pursue them with uncompromised commitment. The goal is achievable with the right amount of passion, leadership and funding. It will require all of us who care to play a role in meeting the goal to find the will, the strength and the belief to do what it takes to achieve the end of breast cancer. The tools, information, resources and wisdom exist to create a global strategy to end breast cancer. Are you with us?