Major milestone

James Island, SC, Sales Associate Dian Dean sells breast cancer stamps to Eugene Platt in October. Platt has purchased $14,000 worth of the stamps since 2003, when his wife died of the disease.

The Postal Service sold its 1 billionth Breast Cancer Research stamp in early December, underscoring the success of the organization’s efforts to fund the fight against the disease.

The semipostal stamp has raised more than $80 million since its introduction in 1998.

“With the Breast Cancer Research semipostal stamp, Americans have used the power of the mail to raise awareness about this disease, as well as hope for the cure,” PMG Megan J. Brennan said in a news release this week.

“We appreciate the tremendous support from our postal employees and our customers, which has resulted in over 1 billion stamps being sold and more than $80 million in stamp sales to date for vital breast cancer research.”

The National Cancer Institute receives 70 percent of Breast Cancer Research stamp proceeds. The money funds research to detect and treat the disease, which is the second leading cause of cancer death among women.

Last week, President Obama signed legislation to extend the stamp through 2019.

USPS marked Breast Cancer Awareness Month in October by featuring the stamp on and social media. Employees, including breast cancer survivors, also have helped bring awareness to the cause.