January 4, 2018
January 2, 2018
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Lisa Berry
ALEXANDRIA, Va. — Congress has extended the expiration of a moratorium on current breast cancer screening guidelines from the United States Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) until January 1, 2019. This move protects access to mammograms for women ages 40-49 for another year.
The USPSTF screening guidelines could reduce access to breast screening for women under age 50. According to the USPSTF, most women ages 40-49 do not need annual breast cancer screenings; they’ve given a “C” grade for women in this age group, which could result in millions of women losing insurance coverage for their mammograms, forcing them to pay out of pocket or avoid the exam.
Medical experts agree that mammograms save lives. That’s why Congress passed the Protecting Access to Lifesaving Screenings (PALS) Act in December 2015. The PALS Act placed a two-year moratorium on the USPSTF guidelines so concerns from the medical community and patients could be addressed, maintaining access to mammography for women ages 40 and older with no copay. The moratorium was set to expire this month, but Congress extended the expiration until January 1, 2019.
While a longer-term solution would be preferable, the extension protects access to mammograms for millions of women across the country for one more year.
The Prevent Cancer Foundation® stands firm in our recommendation that all women of average risk begin breast cancer annual screening at age 40. The Foundation applauds Congress for the extension and will continue to assist women in accessing screening and early detection services to Stop Cancer Before it Starts!®
About The Prevent Cancer Foundation®
The Prevent Cancer Foundation® is one of the nation’s leading voluntary health organizations and the only U.S. nonprofit focused solely on cancer prevention and early detection. Founded in 1985, it has catapulted cancer prevention to prominence and fulfills its mission through research, education, outreach and advocacy across the country.
For more information, please visit preventcancer.org.