The first weekend in May, outreach and survivorship staff from the Delaware Breast Cancer Coalition attended the National Breast Cancer Coalition’s 2014 Advocate Leadership Program Summit in Washington, D.C. The three-day program focused on shaping leaders to support the global movement to know how to end breast cancer by Jan. 1, 2020. At the conference, DBCC staff had the opportunity to network with leading scientists, policy makers, breast cancer activists, and innovators, and heard the latest research on prevention and breast cancer metastasis.
Attendees were welcomed with a multitude of knowledge to learn how to take action to end breast cancer. The most imperative action item is to accelerate the End of Breast Cancer Act. The act urges the federal government and Congress to leverage resources to focus on the goal of ending breast cancer by identifying strategies for prevention and creating a Commission to Accelerate the End of Breast Cancer. Additional priorities include increased funding for breast cancer research, guaranteeing high-quality access to care for all, and ensuring knowledgeable patient advocates have a seat at the table among all healthcare decision making.
According to recent statistics from NBCC, more than 522,000 women will die of breast cancer worldwide. Conference attendees are tasked with changing the conversation from curing breast cancer to ending the disease. Vicky Cooke, executive director of the Delaware Breast Cancer Coalition, said, “Advocates are no longer fighting for a cure. If researchers can figure out how to end breast cancer, whether by vaccine or another avenue, men and women will no longer die from it.”
On the final day of the conference, DBCC staff members met with Delaware’s two senators and sole congressman to encourage leadership to sign on to the deadline. Through continued communication with local legislators and educating the community, DBCC will continue advocacy efforts in the First State.
The Delaware Breast Cancer Coalition is a 501c3 organization offering statewide programs and services of education, outreach, and early detection and treatment of breast cancer. Its mission is to create a community where every person diagnosed with breast cancer is a survivor, and fear and doubt are replaced with knowledge and hope. All funds raised for DBCC support programs in Delaware and neighboring areas in Pennsylvania, Maryland, and New Jersey. For more information, call 866-312-DBCC (3222) or go to www.debreastcancer.org.