How much money goes to breast cancer research?

Research Funding: Between federal funding and the top private foundations, the U.S. spends at least $1 billion annually on breast cancer research. This does not take into account state-funded research programs, separate research programs at hospitals and medical schools, private foundations, research allocations of under $1 million from non-profit organizations, or research within the pharmaceutical industry.

See also: Fundraising

Federal Research

For fiscal year 2013, the budget of the National Cancer Institute (NCI) was $4.79 billion, a 5.5 percent decrease from 2012. In 2012, NCI directed $602.7 million to breast cancer research grants, a decrease of $30 million from the $631.2 million allocated in 2010. As the budget allocations show in the table below, this is still a significant part of NCI’s research budget.

NCI 2008-2013

The federal government also funds significant research through the Department of Defense Breast Cancer Research Program (DOD BCRP). The DOD BCRP was created in 1992 to increase federal funding for breast cancer research, and congress has approved funding for the program each year since. The congressional appropriation for the program in 2015 was $120 million, a decline from the $138.1 million allocated in 2010. Total appropriation from FY92-FY14 is $3.02 billion.

The Stamp Out Breast Cancer Act was established in 1997. Customers can purchase special rate postage stamps from the U.S. Postal Service. Of the funds collected above the postage and administrative costs, the Act requires the USPS to transfer 70 percent to NIH and 30 percent to the Department of Defense. As of September 2013, NCI received $53,916,198. Thus far, four major programs have been funded, including the Insight Awards to Stamp Out Breast Cancer, the Breast Cancer Research Stamp Exception Program, the Breast Cancer Premalignancy Program, and a clinical trial to determine the risk of breast cancer recurrence. In FY 2013, $1.337 million was obligated on Breast Cancer Stamp Fund programs.

The National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) is also NIH funded and has a targeted Breast Cancer and Environment Research Program.

Research Funding from Nonprofit Organizations

In total, the nonprofit sector raises an estimated $2.5 to $3.25 billion for breast cancer in a given fiscal year. While there are numerous nonprofit organizations across the country and in other countries that raise funds to invest in breast cancer research and other activities, few invest more than $1 million annually.

According to their financial reports, the top three private funders of breast cancer research in the United States donated $125.6 million during their 2012 fiscal years. These include: Avon, the Breast Cancer Research Foundation, and Susan G. Komen for the Cure.

NPO Research Funding Chart

The research allocations of the top nonprofit funders do not represent the organizations’ total budgets.

Between 1992 and 2010 the Avon Breast Cancer Crusade raised $700 million, but 2009 figures suggest that only about 23 percent of expenditures each year go toward research grants.

Since 1993 the Breast Cancer Research Foundation (BCRF) raised more than $300 million with 88 percent of its annual budget going to research.

Susan G. Komen for the Cure’s 2011 financial statements report that 15 percent of its $420 million in revenues was spent in the research category ($63 million). In contrast 43 percent was spent on education, 18 percent on fund-raising and administration, 12 percent on screening, and 5 percent on treatment.

The American Cancer Society and The Entertainment Industry Foundation (including Stand Up to Cancer) also has research allocations for breast cancer with their research portfolios. The American Cancer Society spends 39 percent ($121.2 million) of its $391 million budget on research programs across all cancers.

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