Letters to the Editor are read by Members of Congress. Use our sample Letter to the Editor to send to your local newspaper.
Click here for a listing of addresses of most major US News outlets.
Sample Letter to the Editor
As a person who has been directly affected by colorectal cancer I am writing to urge my friends and neighbors to get screened. Colorectal cancer screening saves lives!
[Add your personal story here]
Colorectal cancer will claim over 50,000 lives in 2009, making it the second leading cause of death from cancer in the United States. When Americans are screened according the United States Preventive Task Force guidelines and diagnosed early, they have a 90 percent survival rate. But too often, individuals don’t get screened and are diagnosed with late stage colorectal cancer.
This disease is preventable, treatable, and beatable. Just get screened. I did, any you should too.
One major reason for low screening rates is the lack of insurance coverage for screenings and treatment. Currently the only Americans that are guaranteed coverage for colorectal cancer screenings are Medicare beneficiaries 65 years of age and older. The United States Preventive Task Force recommends that individuals begin being screened at age 50. This is a 15 year gap! When Medicare began covering the cost of colonoscopies for high risk patients, colonoscopy use increased from an average rate of 285 per 100,000 beneficiaries to 1919 per 100,000. This is a 700 percent increase.
There is a bill pending in Congress that will help in the fight against colorectal cancer. If enacted, the Colorectal Cancer Prevention, Early Detection and Treatment Act (H.R. 912/S. 494) will save thousands of lives and save Medicare billions of dollars. The bill will create a national screening and treatment program for colorectal cancer similar to what we currently have in place for breast and cervical cancer.
Help get this important legislation passed. Call your Representative and Senators at 202-224-3121 and ask them to cosponsor H.R. 912/S. 494!
** NOTE: All letters to the editor must include a signature, address, and phone number so that the paper may contact you with any questions. You may also include your affiliation with Fight Colorectal Cancer if you wish. Your phone number and address will not be printed.
If possible, try to link your letter with something that was recently in the newspaper, perhaps an article about health care costs or access to care.