Kinga Lampert Shares Why Breast Cancer Research Has Never Been More Important

Kinga Lampert
Kinga Lampert

Photo Credit: Getty Images

This year has been an unprecedented one for many reasons, and public health and safety has never been more of a priority. The pandemic shut our world down for nearly three months, with lingering effects that carried out through the rest of the year. While research and the development of a vaccine through science and finding a cure for COVID-19 has remained at the forefront of everyone’s minds, there is still a strong need to strive for a cure for many health threats that men and women face all over the world every day—and one of the most prevalent is breast cancer.

While October is a time to raise awareness for the cause, it is one that affects so many people throughout the globe all year round. In honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, we spoke with Kinga Lampert, one of the cause’s most prominent leaders and Co-Chair of the Board of the Directors for the Breast Cancer Research Foundation. The BCRF is currently the highest-rated breast cancer organization in the country that has single-handedly resulted in immense strides toward preventing and curing breast cancer.

The BCRF is an organization that Lampert has been a part of for 13 years—a cause that is near and dear to her heart, as she, herself, battled with the disease at that time, and has served as the Co-Chairman of the Board for eight years. She originally joined the Foundation when her dear friend, Evelyn Lauder, passed away from the disease, and her husband, Leonard, asked her to come aboard. Since then, she has worked tirelessly for BCRF, devoted fully to making others aware of the work they are doing and raising funds to bring on the best and most talented minds in science to continue their research.

“What sets BCRF apart is our laser-sharp focus on research. We never waver from this mission,” she shares. “The researchers we fund are the best and brightest minds in science. In fact, BCRF-funded researchers have been a part of every major breakthrough in breast cancer prevention, diagnosis, treatment, survivorship and metastasis.”

Elizabeth Hurley and Kinga Lampert
Elizabeth Hurley and Kinga Lampert

Photo Credit: Julie Skarratt

BCRF works year-round to reach its goal to eradicate breast cancer, which is heavily influenced by funding for research to continue with the best and most talented doctors who work hand-in-hand with the foundation toward this goal.

“BCRF is the highest-rated breast cancer organization in the country and we are making a real tangible impact and changing the very course of the disease—for example, since BCRF was founded, deaths from the disease have declined by 40-percent,” Lampert shares. “This is due to our commitment to research, which is funded by the foundation. We are proud to report that we now have the largest cohort of breast cancer survivors in history at nearly 4 million people in the U.S. alone—this is unequivocal evidence that research saves lives.”

One of the more urgent areas of BCRF’s mission and research is to battle metastatic disease. This occurs when a cancer cell leaves its original location and spreads to the other parts of the body—making it much harder to isolate and contain the spread, as well as kill the cells from increasing further to cause irreparable harm to the body.

“If we can crack the code to how a cancer cell spreads, we can change the future. BCRF is the largest private funder of metastatic breast cancer—that is where the greatest opportunities to change the future lies,” says Lampert.

This year has been particularly trying, due to the pandemic, which has affected all industries and all walks of life.

William P. Lauder and Kinga Lampert
William P. Lauder and Kinga Lampert

Photo Credit: Getty Images

“Scientists around the globe are working in tandem with a dedicated focus to cure and prevent COVID-19. We know that we will move past this pandemic one day, but when that day comes, women and men with breast cancer still face alarming statistics,” notes Lampert. “About 168,000 people will be diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer this year alone. With estimates of a rise in advanced breast cancer cases as a result of delays in diagnosis and treatment during the pandemic, the research we fund today has the potential to save even more lives tomorrow. These people—our loved ones—cannot afford a pause on progress. Breast cancer doesn’t stop for a pandemic and neither can we. BCRF remains committed to eradicating breast cancer for the millions whose lives are at stake. And though the pace at which answers are coming has never been faster—it takes resources to seize opportunities that yield real benefits for patients. Investing in science is the only path to a safer, healthier future for all of us and all future generations.”

Aside from the impact it has had from the diverted focus of science, it has also impeded BCRF’s ability to host their annual events, which heavily contribute to the Foundation’s funding. Luckily, the team has been able to put on successful virtual events over the past few months because, as Lampert noted, the work can never stop.

“I am proud to participate in fundraising efforts like the virtual events that BCRF has so nimbly pivoted to. While I’m looking forward to seeing everyone again one day back in New York City, there is still tremendous opportunity to support research,” Lampert shares. “BCRF’s Virtual Symposium and Awards Luncheon held on October 16th  raised a record-breaking $3 million—a great example of resilience in the face of the tremendous challenges.”

Kinga Lampert and William Lauder
Kinga Lampert and William Lauder

Photo Credit: Julie Skarratt

“We are closer than we’ve ever been to eradicating breast cancer, yet the urgency to fund research has never been greater. We are on the precipice of change, yet as the world faces the economic challenges of the pandemic, we risk sliding back on decades of progress. Dr. Larry Norton, BCRF’s Founding Scientific Director, says that one year of lost funding is tantamount to a decade’s worth of progress lost.”

Not only this month, but every month of the year, it is important for everyone to band together and contribute anything they can to helping Lampert and the BCRF accomplish their mission—whether it be monetary, or simply using their own platforms to raise awareness.

“We must all do everything we can to support breast cancer research and make sure that we’re not only sustaining scientific endeavors but growing them,” says Lampert. “I am determined to continue on our trajectory of reducing breast cancer’s ability to take lives, until one day, it’s no longer a threat at all.”

To find out more about BCRF or to donate, please visit https://www.bcrf.org/.

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