Today, colorectal cancer survivors, caregivers, physicians, and nurses brought their fight against colorectal cancer to Washington, DC. C3 President Carlea Bauman described the importance of their voices in the war against cancer, “colorectal cancer advocates who speak up and demand change will be the ones who make a difference in the fight against this disease.”
Even with advances in screening technology colorectal cancer continues to be the second leading cancer killer of men and women combined. In 2010, nearly 50,000 people in the United States will die from colorectal cancer. The real tragedy is that many of these deaths could be prevented if more people took advantage of colorectal cancer screening and early detection.
Over the next two days, the advocates will hear from experts about current research and cancer control programs aiming to decrease both incidence and mortality rates from colorectal cancer.
In addition, the advocates will receive briefings on bills currently pending in Congress which if enacted will help to increase population-based screening rates for colorectal cancer and increase funding for cutting edge cancer research.
On Wednesday they will head to the hill to meet with their Representatives and Senators and encourage the legislators to support of the following three legislative proposals that will help us win the fight against colorectal cancer:
- The Colorectal Cancer Prevention, Early Detection, and Treatment Act of 2009 (H.R. 1189). This important legislation would establish a national colorectal cancer screening and treatment program administered by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Approximately 30,000 to 44,000 lives a year could be saved if colorectal cancer screening was fully accessible and utilized. In addition to saving thousands of lives, this legislation has the potential to save billions in Medicare expenditures. According to an independent study by The Lewin Group, the provisions in this bill will save Medicare billions of dollars.
- The Colorectal Cancer Screening and Detection Act (H.R. 1330). This legislation would require all health insurance plans, both individual and group, to cover a colonoscopy for anyone age 50 or older. The coverage this important legislation requires is similar to the coverage that almost all states require health plans to provide for breast cancer screening. Enactment of this bill will help to increase population-based screening rates for colorectal cancer (currently less than half of those who should be screened do get screened).
- $50 million in funding for the Peer Reviewed Cancer Research Program (PRCRP) at the Department of Defense for Fiscal Year 2011. This program at the Department of Defense funds research for a number of cancers including colorectal cancer. The program supports high-quality cancer research, concentrating its resources on research mechanisms which complement rather than duplicate the research approaches of the major funders of medical research in the United States. Last year alone approximately 422,600 Americans were diagnosed with one of the cancers included in the PRCRP and 127,730 Americans lost their life to one of these diseases.
Stay tuned for updates from the 2010 Call-on Congress and follow the Call-on Congress fun on Twitter!