September 3, 2021
The Prevent Cancer Foundation held its annual Advocacy Workshop on June 17. The event focused on a patient-centered approach to multi-cancer early detection (MCED) testing in support of the Foundation’s mission of saving lives across all populations through cancer prevention and early detection. Based on this event, the Foundation has released a new white paper, “A Patient-Centered Approach to Multi-Cancer Early Detection Testing: Post-event recap,” which explores MCED testing and various approaches to keep patients at the center of the conversation.
Read the white paper to learn more about patient-centered approaches to multi-cancer early detection testing. For more information on the Prevent Cancer Foundation’s ongoing work on MCED testing, visit preventcancer.org/early.
As COVID-19 continues to cause more serious illness and death in the U.S. among those who are not vaccinated, the Prevent Cancer Foundation, as part of the Cancer Leadership Council (CLC), has released a statement in support of mandated COVID-19 vaccination for health care professionals. A COVID-19 vaccination policy for health care professionals would protect the safety of patients and individuals who reside in long-term care facilities.
Patients, especially unvaccinated children, older adults, and individuals who are immunocompromised, face a growing risk of infection as the Delta variant spreads. The Foundation, along with the CLC, commends health care experts, health care institutions and professional societies that support the requirement for universal vaccination of health care workers. We understand that some health care workers may have underlying medical conditions that would result in exemption from a mandate. We also emphasize that a mandate must be accompanied by continued efforts to improve vaccine acceptance and outreach to address mistrust of the vaccines and skepticism about their development among the general population. The health and safety of our health care professionals, families, communities and the U.S. depend on the commitment of health care institutions to ensure vaccination of all their employees.
The Prevent Cancer Foundation supports the Quit Because of COVID-19 Act, legislation that will ensure all Medicaid and Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) enrollees have access to proven tobacco cessation treatments at this critical time. On August 6, Senators Tom Carper (D-Del.) and Susan Collins (R-Maine) introduced the bipartisan bill, S. 2622. Companion legislation, H.R. 2185, was introduced in the House by Representatives Lisa Blunt Rochester (D-Del.) and Brian Fitzpatrick (R-Pa.).
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), smokers are at increased risk of severe complications from COVID-19. Smoking rates are particularly high among people enrolled in Medicaid. Helping tobacco users to quit should be a critical component of the nation’s efforts to combat this deadly pandemic. As COVID-19 infections rise once again, this legislation could not be more timely.
Medicaid enrollees smoke at more than twice the rate of adults with private health insurance (24.9% compared to 10.7%), which increases their risk of cancer, heart disease, COPD, diabetes and other tobacco-related diseases. Smoking-related diseases also account for about $68 billion in annual Medicaid costs. This legislation will reduce the glaring health disparities facing our nation, save lives and improve health among Medicaid and CHIP enrollees, and will also reduce health care costs.
All state Medicaid programs provide some level of tobacco cessation coverage. However, as of 2018, only 15 states covered all available tobacco cessation treatments and only two of these states covered all treatments without barriers to access. The Prevent Cancer Foundation commends Senators Carper and Collins and Representatives Blunt Rochester and Fitzpatrick for their leadership and looks forward to working with them to advance this important legislation.