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Breast Cancer Deadline: 2020

“In 1961, President Kennedy challenged this country to put a man on the moon by the end of the decade, and the Apollo program was born. The seemingly impossible challenge President Kennedy issued became breathtaking reality only 98 months later. It is time to reawaken this impulse to do great things and to honor our heritage by committing to a goal no less ambitious or achievable than the moon landing seemed half a century ago. Let’s figure out how to end breast cancer by 2020. Together, we can do it.” 

This quote is from the National Breast Cancer Coalition’s description of their effort called: Breast Cancer Deadline 2020.

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By referring to the ambitious effort to put a man on the moon, the Coalition hopes to inspire us all to think about reaching a goal that may actually seem impossible. But, the goal to reach the moon seemed like science fiction to many, too. We have been to the moon many times since 1969.

We now have manned international space stations positioned in outer space and a rover exploring Mars. We have come a very, very long way in our space program.

 

Can we accomplish the seemingly impossible task of ending breast cancer?

“When we set a deadline to end breast cancer by January 1, 2020, we knew it would be controversial. We knew some would scoff. We knew we couldn’t do it alone. We knew we needed many stakeholders and, most importantly, our leaders in all arenas that play a role in breast cancer to be a part of the deadline.”

In 2013, more than 425,000 women worldwide will die of breast cancer. In the United States alone 39,620 women and 410 men will die of breast cancer. So many lives would be saved if there was no breast cancer.

How can this goal be accomplished? Through plenty of research — research into a preventive vaccine to prevent tumor growth for one thing.

Another area of research will be into the role of viruses in the development and spread of breast cancer. The role of lifestyle and external exposures in the initiation and progression of breast cancer are also topics that are slated for future research. Of course, research costs lots of money…so raising needed funds is a priority for Breast Cancer Deadline 2020.

It will take lots of people, energy, dollars, ideas and voices to meet the 2020 goal. And, we have got to start by believing that, with the right amount of passion, leadership and funding, this goal is achievable. Will you dare to believe it? This could be that one giant step for (wo)mankind!

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For more information on the National Breast Cancer Coalition’s Breast Cancer Deadline 2020 project, visit: www.breastcancerdeadline2020.org

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