WASHINGTON, D. C. – U.S. Senator Thad Cochran (R-Miss.) today renewed his support for legislation authorizing the continued sale of postage stamps to support breast cancer prevention, treatment and research.

Cochran is cosponsoring the Breast Cancer Research Stamp Reauthorization Act (S.1170) to extend the sale of fundraising postage stamps. Current authorization for the Breast Cancer Research Stamp expires this year, and this measure would extend the sale of the stamps for an additional four years.

“This special postage stamp gives individuals an option to be part of the national effort to fight breast cancer. Over the past 17 years, the sale of these stamps has contributed greatly to the work of detecting, treating and stopping this disease, which affects so many families in Mississippi and around the country,” Cochran said. “Extending the sale of these stamps through 2019 would allow that progress to continue.”

The stamp provides first-class postage and currently costs 60 cents, with 11 cents directed toward helping fund breast cancer research programs. Since 1998, proceeds from the stamp have exceeded $80.4 million, helping to fund the National Cancer Institute’s breast cancer research programs at the National Institutes of Health and the Medical Research Program at the Department of Defense.

Breast cancer is a leading cause of death among women in the United States, claiming the lives of more than 400 Mississippi women annually. More than 2,000 Mississippi women will be diagnosed with breast cancer this year, according to the Mississippi State Department of Health (MSDH). Mississippi also has one of the lowest breast cancer screening rates for older women and more than 25 percent of Mississippi women do not receive regular screenings.

S.1170, introduced by U.S. Senators Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) and Mike Enzi (R-Wyo.), has been referred to the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee. The measure is supported by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, the American Association for Cancer Research, the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network, the American College of Surgeons, the Breast Cancer Fund, Susan G. Komen for the Cure, the Breast Cancer Research Foundation, and other organizations.