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Breast cancer is the most common cancer among women in the United States, other than skin cancer. It is the second leading cause of cancer death in women, after lung cancer.
- About 1 in 8 U.S. women (about 12%) will develop invasive breast cancer over the course of her lifetime.
- In 2017, an estimated 252,710 new cases of invasive breast cancer are expected to be diagnosed in women in the U.S., along with 63,410 new cases of non-invasive (in situ) breast cancer.
- About 40,610 women in the U.S. are expected to die in 2017 from breast cancer, though death rates have been decreasing since 1989. Women under 50 have experienced larger decreases. These decreases are thought to be the result of treatment advances, earlier detection through screening, and increased awareness.
- For women in the U.S., breast cancer death rates are higher than those for any other cancer, besides lung cancer.
- As of March 2017, there are more than 3.1 million women with a history of breast cancer in the U.S. This includes women currently being treated and women who have finished treatment.
The good news is breast cancer death rates are going down. This is probably the result of finding the cancer earlier and improved treatment. While early detection and treatment advances help to save lives, recurrence is always a possibility and there is still no cure for Stage IV breast cancer.
Numerous organizations have been founded to raise money for breast cancer research and awareness. Success in raising awareness is evidenced by pink ribbons on car bumpers and special promotions in retail stores. However, monies directed toward awareness are also monies that are not being funneled to scientists who are identifying the keys that will unlock the mysteries of this disease. Additionally, all current fundraising organizations have overhead costs that divert even more money from research. It is essential that funds shift in favor of research. Compounding this competition for research dollars is an ongoing reduction in NIH (National Institute of Health) funding.
Sandy Maniscalco & Norma Logan
To help address these issues, in 2005, two friends, Norma Logan (1958-2006) and Sandy Maniscalco started the Terri Brodeur Breast Cancer Foundation (TBBCF). The desire to establish a non-profit organization was from frustration at seeing successful fundraising efforts being diverted from research to cover organizational overhead. For example, between 2004 and 2005 Norma and Sandy led a small group of individuals in raising $200,000 for an internationally renowned breast cancer foundation’s sponsorship of a 3-day Walk. Upon investigating the financials of the 3-day event, it was determined that 40% of all money raised went to overhead. Of the $200,000 raised by Norma’s and Sandy’s group, $80,000 never made it to critical programs or research. Determined to address this issue and ensure money was directed at finding a cure, these women established a unique non-profit organization, which through sponsorship and volunteerism, is able to direct 100 percent of total gross fundraising efforts to breast cancer research.
The organization’s name was chosen to honor a dear friend, Terri Brodeur. Terri presented with Stage IV breast cancer in 2003. Effective treatment options did not exist to help Terri, and after a two-year battle she succumbed to the disease leaving behind a beloved husband and three young children.