iOS app Android app

Fran Visco
Fran Visco, a more than 25-year breast cancer survivor, is the first president of the National Breast Cancer Coalition and Fund, and a member of its board of directors and executive committee. Ms. Visco was a partner in a Philadelphia law firm before leaving law to focus on NBCC/F's work.

In 1993, President Clinton appointed Ms. Visco as one of three members of the President's Cancer Panel, and she was the first consumer to chair the Integration Panel of the Department of Defense Peer-Review Breast Cancer Research Program. She co-chaired the National Action Plan on Breast Cancer and served on the National Cancer Policy Board. Ms. Visco has been a member of Institute of Medicine panels and has served on other policy committees, including the steering committees of the Breast Cancer International Research Group. She has testified before Congressional committees, has lectured throughout the United States and internationally on the politics of breast cancer and women’s health advocacy issues. Ms. Visco and her husband are residents of Philadelphia and the parents of a 27-year-old son.

Entries by Fran Visco

The Artemis Project -- An Innovative Approach to Research

(1) Comments | Posted October 28, 2015 | 5:13 PM

When I was diagnosed with breast cancer in 1987, I was a partner in a Philadelphia law firm. I had no science background. My mother was head nurse at a hospital, and we often talked generally about medicine and science at the dinner table but I never had an interest...

Read Post

Football and Breast Cancer

(6) Comments | Posted October 9, 2015 | 6:26 PM

I admit it. I like professional football; I think it is in my DNA. My father watched the Philadelphia Eagles every Sunday and did some coaching for the Pop Warner league. I have vivid memories of him, in front of the TV, sighing "if they only had an offense" to...

Read Post

Breast Cancer Deadline 2020: Deadlines Drive Action -- Join Us

(0) Comments | Posted October 8, 2015 | 12:08 PM

The National Breast Cancer Coalition (NBCC) was formed in 1991 with one mission: to end breast cancer. NBCC has accomplished much over its 25 years, bringing about unprecedented research funding to the worldwide scientific community, forging new collaborations to design research and set priorities, expanding access to information and care...

Read Post

New Studies for an Old Story: Mammography Screening Isn't Saving Lives

(9) Comments | Posted August 25, 2015 | 1:19 PM

It was not possible to look at or listen to any form of media over the past few days without being inundated by new claims about breast cancer. What sense can we make of the news that treating stage 0 breast cancer doesn't save lives? How tired are we all...

Read Post

Are We Doing Enough? Some Questions for the San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium Participants

(1) Comments | Posted December 8, 2014 | 11:00 PM

This year, the National Breast Cancer Coalition posed a question to the world. Isn't it time we stop losing the women and men we love to breast cancer?

The question is rhetorical, and the answer, at least on the surface, is easy. Yes. Yes, it is time we stop...

Read Post

The Way to Fight Breast Cancer Is With a Vaccine -- Not Another Pink Product

(8) Comments | Posted October 2, 2014 | 12:25 PM

All the pink gadgets in the world will not end breast cancer. To kick off Breast Cancer Awareness Month, the satirical publication, The Onion, has highlighted the absurd way our society has chosen to fight breast cancer. As The Onion points out, seemingly inescapable product marketing campaigns have...

Read Post

The Complacency of Awareness

(7) Comments | Posted July 1, 2014 | 2:46 PM

Breast cancer used to be in the closet. Not very long ago, the stigma surrounding breast cancer was so strong that women and men felt that they had to hide their diagnosis.

Then things began to change thanks to some very brave women. In 1972, Shirley Temple Black held a...

Read Post

Should I Get a Mammogram? What Are Women Supposed to Do?

(2) Comments | Posted March 18, 2014 | 6:09 PM

Prior to the release last month of the Canadian National Breast Screening Study results, and despite a long line of studies by others that cast doubt, the average American still would have told you that when it comes to breast cancer, early detection is key. No one talked about the...

Read Post

New Year, New Approach to Breast Cancer

(2) Comments | Posted December 30, 2013 | 5:36 PM

A new year. Many around the world use it as a new opportunity to change. Or at least to vow to change something or someone. Maybe you have promised yourself that you will eat healthier, get up earlier or be more productive this year. In 2010, the National...

Read Post

Give. Thanks.

(0) Comments | Posted December 2, 2013 | 10:57 AM

I have never actually stopped to fully analyze why I gave up my career as a partner in a law firm, to give all my attention to ending breast cancer. I am often asked why. And I usually shrug. I simply cannot conceive of doing anything else.

"Giving" has...

Read Post

Breast Cancer Priority #1: Saving Lives

(3) Comments | Posted October 29, 2013 | 11:30 AM

Breast Cancer Awareness month is coming to a close. And I am grateful. Every year it brings a sea of pink and this year was no different. But has anything meaningful changed from last year? Have we made progress?

In 2010, the National Breast Cancer Coalition (NBCC)...

Read Post

Feeling Bad About the Feel-Good War on Breast Cancer

(6) Comments | Posted May 3, 2013 | 6:06 PM

There are so many of us in this country who have similar stories about our breast cancer. I read Peggy Orenstein's article in The New York Times Magazine last week, "Our Feel-Good War on Breast Cancer." Peggy's article told the truth about breast cancer. It will help us...

Read Post

President Clinton Joins Breast Cancer Deadline 2020 as Honorary Chair of NBCC's Global Campaign

(3) Comments | Posted November 13, 2012 | 9:00 AM

Not long after we launched the National Breast Cancer Coalition, it was time to elect a new president for the country. That was the fall of 1992. As we always do, we reached out to the candidates to bring them our message about ending breast cancer. And we heard from...

Read Post

2.9 Million Breast Cancer Survivors: How Will They Vote?

(0) Comments | Posted November 6, 2012 | 1:46 PM

By the end of the day, we should know who will lead our nation for the next four years. During the campaign we heard a great deal about the lack of jobs, the problem with our tax system, the reasons we should keep the President's health care reform law --...

Read Post

Are You Aware How LITTLE Has Changed in Breast Cancer in 25 Years?

(15) Comments | Posted October 9, 2012 | 11:50 AM

Twenty-five years ago, I sat in my doctor's office and heard these words: You have breast cancer. That was in 1987, when the world's population reached five billion, a gallon of gas was 89 cents, Ronald Reagan was president and the FDA approved AZT for AIDS.

I was 39 years...

Read Post

Leadership and Vision to End Breast Cancer, Turning Impossible Into Possible

(4) Comments | Posted September 10, 2012 | 11:08 AM

The parties have wrapped up their conventions and the Presidential candidates are in full swing on the campaign trail. During the conventions, the candidates are given a primetime platform to present big ideas. That is, after all, what Presidential candidates are supposed to do -- think big for America.

Read Post

Can We Win a Gold Medal in Breast Cancer?

(9) Comments | Posted August 13, 2012 | 11:20 AM

Yesterday marked the conclusion of the Summer Olympics in London. Like many of you, I watched the games and marveled at the speed, precision and fortitude of the athletes. Having seen quite a few Olympics over the years, I was particularly intrigued by how much the games have evolved as...

Read Post

Why Does Accountability Matter?

(10) Comments | Posted July 24, 2012 | 5:33 PM

We hear a great deal about accountability. We want leaders to be accountable to their constituency and other individuals to one another. In the world of breast cancer, the word gets thrown about often. But what does that actually mean? If we are to end breast cancer by January 1,...

Read Post

The Power of Advocacy In a City Where Power is Everything

(5) Comments | Posted March 23, 2012 | 3:16 PM

An advocate is someone who pleads another's cause, who defends those in need, who speaks up for those who choose not to. My siblings can tell you that I was born to be an advocate and then, by temperament, training and circumstance, spent my life as one, especially in defense...

Read Post

Aiming for the Bullseye: A Breast Cancer Vaccine

(17) Comments | Posted March 7, 2012 | 3:46 PM

I am on a flight right now headed home from the second annual meeting of NBCC's Artemis Project® to develop a breast cancer preventive vaccine. I find myself extremely excited about the spirit of collaboration and innovation among the participants. I am impressed with the eagerness of all in attendance...

Read Post