Licking cancer: US postal stamp helps fund key breast study

AP

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The National Cancer Institute gave $36 million for the study, and $4.5 million of it came from the stamp.

Proceeds from the U.S. Postal Service's breast cancer stamp put researchers over the top when they were trying to get enough money to do the landmark study. (Photo: Pixabay)

Chicago: Countless breast cancer patients in the future will be spared millions of dollars of chemotherapy thanks in part to something that millions of Americans did that cost them just pennies: bought a postage stamp.

Proceeds from the U.S. Postal Service's breast cancer stamp put researchers over the top when they were trying to get enough money to do the landmark study published on Sunday that showed genetic testing can reveal which women with early-stage breast cancer need chemo and which do not.

The National Cancer Institute gave $36 million for the study, and $4.5 million of it came from the stamp, which has raised $86 million since it was first issued in 1998.

It was the nation's first "charity stamp," sold at a surcharge to support a cause.

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