Published on March 16, 2021
Lisa Berry Edwards
WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Prevent Cancer Foundation® and more than 300 organizations from all 50 states applaud Representative Terri Sewell (D-Ala.) and Senators Mike Crapo (R-Idaho) and Michael Bennet (D-Colo.), who are leading the effort to modernize Medicare and ensure seniors have access to breakthrough cancer screening technology. Today, Representative Sewell introduced the Medicare Multi-Cancer Screening Coverage Act of 2021 joined by her colleagues Representatives Jodey Arrington (R-Texas), Raul Ruiz (D-Calif.), Richard Hudson (R-N.C.), Danny Davis (D-Ill.), Dan Crenshaw (R-Texas), Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Texas), Drew Ferguson (R-Ga.), Ron Kind (D-Wis.), Brad Wenstrup (R-Ohio), and Lisa Blunt Rochester (D-Del.).
This year, 600,000 people will die of cancer in the United States. That’s 1,700 each day. Ongoing clinical trials demonstrate that a new category of cancer screenings can detect many deadly cancers in earlier stages. This technology, called multi-cancer early detection (MCED), uses a blood test and our vast understanding of the human genome to help patients and their health care providers find cancer early, before it has spread to other parts of the body. Research shows that with early detection, nearly nine of every 10 cancer patients will live five years or longer. Without it, only 21% live five years or longer.
“The imperative for access to multi-cancer early detection tests could not be more clear,” said Carolyn R. (“Bo”) Aldigé, Founder and CEO of the Prevent Cancer Foundation. “We face an epidemic of delayed cancer diagnosis and underdiagnosis in this country. We are on the precipice of a major scientific advance that may be our best chance to dramatically lower the number of cancer deaths and save the lives of loved ones who, today, are often diagnosed when it’s simply too late for them to receive effective care. We are grateful that more than 300 organizations, representing every state in the U.S., join us in urging Congress to pass this legislation.”
National advocacy organizations who support the legislation include the American Cancer Society – Cancer Action Network, the National Minority Quality Forum, Cancer Support Community, the Association of Community Cancer Centers, the Community Oncology Alliance and the Oncology Nursing Society. A diverse array of additional medical, community and public health focused organizations across the country joins with the Prevent Cancer Foundation in applauding the introduction of the Medicare Multi-Cancer Screening Coverage Act of 2021 and calling for action on this issue. These organizations provide essential services to cancer patients, offer resources to families, and raise awareness of the need to improve prevention and care for a range of different cancers.
“We are grateful to Rep. Sewell and her colleagues who have come together on an issue that will impact so many Americans,” said Ramona Graffeo, Executive Director of the Laura Crandall Brown Foundation in Alabama. “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. The reintroduction of this critical legislation is a once-in-a-generation opportunity to alter the course of cancer care for seniors.”
Join the conversation at #EarlyDetection. Read the full letter and view the list of signers.
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.