Medicare multi-cancer early detection legislation introduced in Senate

Published on June 3, 2021



Media Contact: Lisa Berry Edwards

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Prevent Cancer Foundation® applauds the Senate introduction of the Medicare Multi-Cancer Early Detection Screening Coverage Act of 2021 (S. 1873). This welcome development follows the House’s introduction of H.R. 1946 in March and strong support of the bipartisan legislation from more than 300 organizations across all 50 states.

Senators Mike Crapo (R-ID), Michael Bennet (D-CO), Ben Cardin (D-MD) and Tim Scott (R-SC) last week introduced this companion legislation in the Senate to help patients on Medicare and their health care providers find cancer in earlier stages, increasing the chances of successful treatment.

The Medicare Multi-Cancer Early Detection Screening Coverage Act of 2021 aims to modernize Medicare to ensure seniors have access to multi-cancer early detection (MCED) tests once approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Multiple MCED tests are currently in development or clinical testing, and this emerging field holds enormous promise to increase early detection of cancers. 

Currently, there are available routine screenings for only five cancers, and most of the deadliest cancers have no screening options. The goal of multi-cancer early detection tests is to utilize advances in genomic science and computing power to find multiple types of cancer through a blood test.

The Prevent Cancer Foundation has always been a champion for cancer prevention and early detection efforts.

“We strive to work side by side with lawmakers and advocates who understand that policy must keep up with medical advances,” said Carolyn Aldigé, Founder and CEO of the Prevent Cancer Foundation.  “Detecting cancer early is one of the keys to ending cancer as we know it. This legislation will help ensure that we don’t have unnecessary barriers to access when breakthrough screening technologies are developed.”

Thank you to the bill’s co-sponsors, who are leading the way in Congress to make potentially lifesaving cancer detection technologies available to those who need them most.

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.

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