Senator Chuck Grassley

Senator Chuck Grassley

Breast cancer would be eliminated by the end of the decade under legislation being introduced by Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley. It comes on the heels of a report released at the University of Iowa last week that names breast cancer as the number-one cancer to strike Iowa women and the number-two cancer killer.

“The bill would establish a commission to accelerate the end of breast cancer,” Grassley says. “That’s the title of the commission, the Commission to Accelerate the End of Breast Cancer, to help end breast cancer by a target date of 2020.”

Grassley says there are many fine organizations, charities and research facilities that are pursuing a common goal but they need to be better assembled to work as a unit. His bill, which he says has bi-partisan support, will forge new relationships in the fight against the disease. “It would encourage partnerships between the public and private sectors,” Grassley says, “and it would create opportunities for collaboration across disciplines that might advance the mission of ending breast cancer.”

He notes, the commission would be subject to termination if it doesn’t show progress. Grassley says his legislation would not attempt to replace or revamp agencies like the American Cancer Society or the Susan G. Komen Foundation, but it aims to see them work together more closely. Grassley says, “There is some redundancy but it brings attention to the issue and it brings together in one place all the research that’s going on to know that the research that’s going on is accomplishing the purpose, can it be better directed and emphasis upon the biggest breakthroughs in the fight against breast cancer.”

Grassley’s wife, Barbara, is a 28-year breast cancer survivor. He says, “This issue is personal to me and really, it’s personal to all of us.” The “Cancer In Iowa” report estimates 22,050 breast cancer cases will be diagnosed in Iowa women this year and 390 women will die from it. It says breast cancer is the number-two cancer killer of Iowa women behind only lung cancer.