Published on December 3, 2020
For Immediate Release
December 3, 2020
Lisa Berry Edwards
WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Prevent Cancer Foundation® applauds congressional leaders for the introduction of the Medicare Multi-Cancer Early Detection Screening Coverage Act of 2021, which will usher in a new era in our pursuit to prevent cancer. H.R. 8845 sponsored by U.S. Reps. Terri Sewell (AL-07), Jodey Arrington (TX-19), Raul Ruiz (CA-36), and Richard Hudson (NC-08) will provide seniors with access to emerging innovations that may enable the detection of multiple cancers from a simple blood sample.
“Finding cancer early is one of the surest ways to beat it,” said Carolyn Aldigé, Founder and CEO of the Prevent Cancer Foundation. “At Prevent Cancer Foundation, we’re focused on expanding access to routine and recommended screenings and ensuring patients and their health care providers benefit from the latest innovations to detect cancer earlier. Multi-cancer early detection tests are a medical advance that can dramatically increase our cancer screening capabilities.”
Current screening for breast, cervical, colorectal, lung and prostate cancers is vital in reducing the burden of cancer. Finding cancer early, before it has spread to other parts of the body, increases the likelihood treatment will be successful, lowers the cost of treatment and improves quality of life for patients and their caregivers. But today we have recommended screenings for only a few of the more than 200 cancers, leaving most cancers undetected until symptoms appear in later stages.
The ability to expand early detection may be imminent. Scientists have developed new screening technologies that are currently in clinical testing by multiple companies and are showing positive results. With a single blood sample, these tests can identify multiple cancers in early stages. Recognizing the public health impact of this innovation, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has granted these tests breakthrough device designations.
“Once multi-cancer early detection tests are approved by the FDA, we must make sure Medicare coverage of these tests is in place so patients can access and afford them,” said Aldigé. “It is encouraging to see a bipartisan group of forward-thinking members of Congress leading on this issue. Cancer affects so many Americans and multi-cancer screening could make a real and lasting impact on the group at greatest risk of cancer—our seniors.”
This past year has been a particularly difficult one for cancer detection because of the impact of the coronavirus pandemic. In addition to advocating for access to the latest advances in cancer screening, the Prevent Cancer Foundation is focused on ensuring Americans get any missed or delayed screenings Back on the Books. Learn more about the resources and tools to get your routine cancer screenings done safely.
About the Prevent Cancer Foundation
The Prevent Cancer Foundation® is celebrating 35 years as the only U.S. nonprofit organization focused solely on saving lives across all populations through cancer prevention and early detection. Through research, education, outreach and advocacy, we have helped countless people avoid a cancer diagnosis or detect their cancer early enough to be successfully treated.
The Foundation is rising to meet the challenge of reducing cancer deaths by 40% by 2035. To achieve this, we are committed to investing $20 million for innovative technologies to detect cancer early and advance multi-cancer screening, $10 million to expand cancer screening and vaccination access to medically underserved communities, and $10 million to educate the public about screening and vaccination options.
For more information, please visit www.preventcancer.org.