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Support Armed Forces Breast Cancer Research Act (H.R. 4869)

13,469 signatures toward our 15,000 Goal

89.79% Complete

Sponsor: The Veterans Site

Research indicates breast cancer rates are significantly higher among military personnel. It's time to do something about it.

The Armed Forces Breast Cancer Research Act (H.R. 4869) continues to sit in committee on Capitol Hill. This bill mandates government research in order to learn more about the prevalence of breast cancer in the military. It represents the vital first step in aiding our veterans, providing the evidence necessary to classify breast cancer as a service-related disability. Otherwise, veterans do not qualify for their VA health benefits.

Contributing factors may include military work conditions and exposure to hazardous chemicals. In the wake of revelations ranging from Agent Orange to Camp Lejeune, such possibilities cannot be ruled out, and a thorough investigation must be conducted to determine the extent and the source of this discrepancy.

One way to kill a bill is to let it languish in committee where it never sees the yea-or-nay vote that can tarnish a politician's reputation. It's happened before to similar proposals. Don't let it happen again: Urge Congress to pass this legislation.

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The Petition:

Dear U.S. Congress,

More than 200,000 Americans are diagnosed with invasive breast cancer each year, and recent research suggests that military service members are disproportionately affected. In fact, more women have been evacuated from the theaters in Iraq and Afghanistan for breast cancer-related causes than any other reason. While some of this startling increase may be attributed to more sophisticated methods of detection as well as more frequent examinations, this does not account for the staggering difference in our veterans.

Unfortunately, since the Department of Veterans Affairs currently fails to recognize breast cancer as a service-related disability, veterans remain ineligible for the health coverage they earned through their service. When Rep. Boswell introduced the Armed Forces Breast Cancer Research Act (H.R. 4869) to the House of Representatives in May, he took an important and necessary step towards correcting this disparity. The time has come for you and your congressional colleagues to continue the work of Boswell and make this bill into law.

The widely cited 2009 research from Walter Reed Medical Center suggests soldiers—men and women alike—suffer from "significantly higher" rates (as high as 40%) of breast cancer compared to their civilian counterparts. This revelation raised more questions than it answered, and over three years later, proper resources have not yet been dedicated to resolving some of those questions. This legislation proposes a promising step in that direction.

Our veterans deserve no less.


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