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Army Breast Cancer Research Program

Friday, October 10, 2014

What is it?

Breast cancer is the most commonly diagnosed non-skin cancer in women. Breast cancer is the second leading cause of cancer deaths in women in the United States. It is anticipated that approximately 40,000 women and 430 men in the U.S. will die from breast cancer this year.

This year, approximately 232,670 women in the U.S. will receive a diagnosis of invasive breast cancer and 62,570 women will be diagnosed with in situ (non-invasive) breast cancer. In addition, about 2,360 men will be diagnosed with breast cancer this year.

What has the Army done?

In 1992, a highly visible lobbying campaign by grassroots advocacy organizations, led by the National Breast Cancer Coalition, increased awareness among policymakers of the need to expand federal funding for breast cancer research. In response, Congress allocated specific funds for breast cancer research, which were added to the Department of Defense (DOD) budget, and the DoD Breast Cancer Research Program (BCRP) was initiated to execute peer-reviewed funding in breast cancer. The successful execution of the BCRP by the United States Army Medical Research and Materiel Command (USAMRMC) led to the initiation of several other disease-focused research programs to be executed by the USAMRMC as directed by Congress, resulting in the formation of the DOD’s Congressionally Directed Medical Research Programs (CDMRP).

During the past 22 years, the BCRP has funded over 6,300 research awards and brought forward new diagnostics, therapeutic drugs and vaccines, advances in identification of risk factors and genetic biomarkers, and research and online resources.

What does the Army have planned for the future?

As requested by Congress, the USAMRMC will continue to fund innovative, high-impact research in breast cancer and partner with Tri-Services and the Veterans Administration to bring research advances forward for evidence based prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of breast cancer to benefit service members, Veterans, and their beneficiaries.

Why is this important to the Army?

The Army’s execution of the BCRP has contributed to significant advances in breast cancer research and clinical care. Increasing the understanding of breast cancer risk, prevention, and detection will enable service members and their beneficiaries to make important decisions about breast health and screening. Lowering the risk and impact of breast cancer contributes to the Army’s overall readiness and well-being of those who serve.


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