The Postal Service issued a 40-cent Breast Cancer Research semi-postal stamp on July 29, 1998, in Washington, DC. This was the nation's first semi-postal stamp issued to raise public awareness and give energy to the pressing fight to find a cure for breast cancer. Ethel Kessler, the stamp's designer, brought a personal understanding of the complex and sensitive nature surrounding breast cancer's prevention and cure. Kessler's collaboration with illustrator Whitney Sherman of Baltimore, MD, yielded the dramatic original illustration and the stamp's bold direct call for action.
The stamps pay the first-class rate plus an eight-cent surcharge. The net proceeds from the surcharge supported breast cancer research. North American Roto engraved the stamps. Avery Dennison printed two hundred million self-adhesive panes of twenty using the gravure process.
Postal Bulletin (July 16, 1998).