On March 30-31, 2010 advocates from all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico called their Representatives in Congress, urging them to support the Colorectal Cancer Prevention, Early Detection and Treatment Act (H.R. 1189) during the annual Congressional Butt-In.
The Colorectal Cancer Prevention, Early Detection, and Treatment Act (H.R. 1189) will establish a program at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to provide colorectal cancer screenings and treatment for low-income, uninsured and underinsured individuals who are not eligible for Medicare.
Representative Kay Granger (R-TX) and sponsor of H.R. 1189, released the following statement:
“Like advocates across the country, finding ways to effectively fight colorectal cancer is a very personal issue for me. I look forward to the day when we have a national colorectal cancer screening and treatment program in place. Such a program will save thousands of lives and save billions of taxpayer dollars in reduced Medicare expenditures. I thank the C3: Colorectal Cancer Coalition, the Prevent Cancer Foundation, and the advocates from across the country who took the time to call Congress today for their support of my bill. Together we can get H.R. 1189 enacted into law.”
Carlea Bauman, President of the C3: Colorectal Cancer Coalition, released the following statement:
“Today colorectal cancer advocates from across the country spoke up and urged their Representatives to support legislation that will strike a blow against this disease that kills 50,000 Americans each year. I applaud them for their passion and commitment. I am also grateful for the partnership of the Prevent Cancer Foundation on this effort. Together we will see the vision of a national screening and treatment program for colorectal cancer become a reality.”
Lisa Hughes, Senior Director of Policy and Advocacy at the Prevent Cancer Foundation, released the following statement:
“Constituent voices have a major impact on Members of Congress and their policy priorities. The overwhelming show of support for H.R. 1189 demonstrates a clear need for a Federally-supported screening program for colorectal cancer, and we are hopeful that Congress will act to pass this legislation. We extend our thanks to those that took the time to call today, and to our partners in this effort, C3: the Colorectal Cancer Coalition.”
While the recently enacted health care reform legislation will lower the cost of preventive services like colonoscopies for many Americans, the health care reform legislation will not do anything to increase awareness about the importance of early detection and screening. Today, even among those with health insurance, screening rates for colorectal cancer are much too low – less than half of those who should be screened get screened.
When colorectal cancer is detected early and treated, the five-year survival rate is 90 percent. However, less than 50 percent of U.S. adults aged 50 and older have been screened according to recommended guidelines. Due to low screening rates, less than 40 percent of colorectal cancers are found early. Education and outreach included in HR1189 are crucial to improving these rates.