Yes, 500. No, it’s not a typo. According to an article by Fran Visco, President of the NBCC, the current rate of progress puts us at a cure in as much as 500 years. With 500,000 new diagnoses worldwide each year and 110 deaths A DAY in the US alone, we’re simply not on the right track.
I am puzzled by the plethora of “breast cancer awareness” messages that bombard us… Maybe I’m wrong, and there lots of us who aren’t “aware” (did you take the poll???), but that just doesn’t make sense to me. The people I know are aware, worried, lost, confused..in fact, many of us are all too aware. So how do we move from “awareness” to “cure”?
To that end, I’ve recently returned from an amazing National Breast Cancer Coalition Advocacy Conference in DC. NBCC has launched a very ambitious BREAST CANCER DEADLINE 2020 campaign. Ambitious? Yes. Plausible? Maybe. Important? VERY. The components of this are as complicated, and to simplify them is to short-cut our way to answers (watch for more to come). It was not hope that helped us find a cure for polio, and it was not hope that got us to the moon. It was the pressure of a deadline.
The culmination of three days of briefings, workshops and meetings was a day spent on Capitol Hill with hundreds of other advocates. Our agenda was focused on BREAST CANCER DEADLINE 2020, and the path to get there, beginning with a Presidential Commission that would define research priorities, bring non-traditional parties into the dialogue and chart the course to a cure.
I, for one, don’t have 500 years to wait!