Published on December 13, 2022
Multi-cancer early detection is a groundbreaking new type of cancer screening test that utilizes advances in genomic science and machine learning to transform cancer detection. Over 500 organizations are urging Congress to ensure access to cancer screenings. Passage of the Medicare Multi-Cancer Early Detection Screening Coverage Act will accelerate the ability for Medicare beneficiaries to find cancer in its earliest stages, once the tests are FDA approved and are shown to have clinical benefit.
To understand the importance of passing this legislation today, listen to the stories of some of our advocates…
“My name is Adjoa Kyerematen and I am the Vice President of Communications and Public Affairs at the National Minority Quality Forum. To be able to access multi-cancer early detection tests would be incalculable to the community that the National Minority Quality Forum serves… who in when they receive the diagnosis of cancer often [assumes it] means a death sentence. Early detection means a higher chance of survival. So, this is why [the] National Minority Quality Forum is deeply committed… that if we truly want to end cancer as we know it, it does mean increasing access to awareness of multi-cancer early detection tests and to make sure that it is the end of cancer for not just some but for all in this country. The Medicare Multi-Cancer Early Detection Screening Coverage Act needed to have passed yesterday. There is a bill that could actually change lives that has received bipartisan support… we just need Congress to make sure that this happens this year before the next Congress, so we can get to helping Americans as soon as possible.”
“I’m James M Williams Jr., director of federal affairs for cancer screening and testing for the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network. Medicare coverage for multi-cancer early detection tests will provide more seniors access and a better quality of life. One blood test will be able to determine multiple different cancers, and this is something that is going to provide access, equality, and care to so many older Americans like never before. I’m a two-time cancer survivor myself, so, I know the value of early detection and treatment. Because I got early tested, because I was able to have early treatment, and because my cancer was ultimately cured, I was able to see my son attend West Point. I was able to see my youngest daughter graduate from George Washington University Law School. I was able to hold my dear, sweet first wife in my arms as she took her last breaths. And finally, I was able to marry the woman who completes my life. All those things would not have been possible if I had not been tested early, if I had not been treated early, and if I had not been advocating for myself. But now, here’s a chance for Congress to advocate, as they’re supposed to, for the people of the United States of America and past the Multi-Cancer Early Detection Screening Coverage Act.”
“I’m Laurie Ambrose and I’m President and CEO of GO2 for Lung Cancer. Multi-cancer early detection tests are so important. We are harnessing the power of genomic sequencing along with computer technologies in a single blood draw to be able to find these diseases quickly. It will accelerate the benefits that we need to give to people to find disease at the earliest, most curable, most manageable stage. Congress needs to act now. If we can see science and technologies advance at this rapid pace, we need to make sure our health policies and our healthcare delivery system does the same, too. You don’t have to be a Democrat or a Republican, you just need to know that if anybody is touched by cancer, or could be at risk for it, that this is an opportunity to improve their lives. Pass the Act this Congress.”
“I’m Dr. Susan Baumgaertel and I’m the President of the Board of Directors for Cancer Lifeline. Cancer is the second leading cause of death in the U.S., second only to heart disease, and most cancer rates only increase with age. Our Medicare population already has so many health challenges, it would be great to actually serve our elderly population by having much needed screening covered, beyond the four or five main cancers that already are. The cost of cancer treatment in the U.S. is staggering, especially for those in the BIPOC community, who remain underserved. Early detection screening would enable these individuals to be better served while also providing greater peace of mind regarding their outcome. I have so many human experience memories to reflect on. The ones that are most vivid are patients I diagnosed with ovarian cancer, pancreatic cancer, and the list goes on. I can’t help but wonder, if their cancers were discovered in very early stages, [would] they would have survived? If we could get the Multi-Cancer Early Detection Screening Coverage Act passed early, this would have profound impact and I think it would propel us into an entirely different era of how we look at cancer diagnosis and treatment.”