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Fight Colorectal Cancer Applauds Sen. Brown for Introduction of “Removing Barriers to Colorectal Cancer Screening” Bill

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

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Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH)

Alexandria, Va. – May 12, 2014 – Fight Colorectal Cancer applauds Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) for introducing a Senate bill seeking to remove a barrier preventing seniors from being screening for colorectal cancer. “Removing Barriers to Colorectal Screening Act” –a bill similar to the House legislation introduced by Rep. Charlie Dent (R-PA) in 2013. Both bills seek to eliminate the copay charged to those on Medicare when a polyp is found during their screening colonoscopy.

 

“Thanks to Sen. Brown, we now have an important piece of legislation in the Senate that can remove one of the major barriers to screening among a population that needs screened the most,” said president Anjee Davis. “We’re happy to see colorectal cancer is a priority in the Senate, and proud of our advocates who’ve given a voice to the importance of this issue.”

 

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Advocate Ed Murphy

Ed Murphy, a Fight Colorectal Cancer advocate from Ohio who lost his wife Arlene to colorectal cancer Jan. 29, 2011 will speak at a press conference hosted by Sen. Brown at the Cleveland Clinic on May 12, 2014 at 10:30 a.m. EST. Murphy, who is also at high risk for the disease, has attended several advocacy events to honor the memory of his wife and push for further screening.

 

“Senator Brown’s legislation will remove a significant financial obstacle that may otherwise prevent someone from getting a screening,” said Murphy.

 

Colonoscopy screening is covered for seniors on Medicare at no charge as a routine screening procedure. During the procedure, if a physician detects a polyp and removes it, the procedure becomes ‘diagnostic’ and seniors may face an unexpected bill upon completion of the colonoscopy. Sen. Brown’s bill seeks to remove this cost barrier that is preventing some from receiving lifesaving prevention.

 

 

“Senator Brown, like those of us who treat colorectal cancer, understands the importance of providing seniors with insurance coverage for potentially curative colorectal cancer screening and the additional need to cover the removal of any polyps found during the procedure,” said Dr. Richard Goldberg, gastrointestinal oncologist at Ohio State University Medical Center. “The power of colonoscopy is that premalignant polyps can be both diagnosed and removed in the same procedure. However the current reality is the people who benefit most from the procedure go to sleep before the procedure thinking it will be covered by insurance and wake up needing to pay the bill when a polyp is removed because their procedure gets reclassified as therapeutic rather than preventive. Senator Brown is a great collaborator in his sponsorship of the patch needed to fix this coverage gap so we can save as many lives as possible.”

 

Colorectal cancer is the second-leading cause of cancer deaths in the United States among all adults, and 23 million people have not been screened. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) estimates that 60 percent of deaths could be avoided with screening. The disease is 90 percent curable when caught at its earliest state.

 

About Fight Colorectal Cancer

Fight Colorectal Cancer is a leading colorectal cancer nonprofit in Washington, D.C. Through patient education, advocacy and involvement in research the group spreads awareness and demands a cure for the second-leading killer in the United States. As the leading advocacy group, the organization serves as a resource for colorectal cancer patients, grassroots advocates, policy makers, medical professionals and health care providers. Learn more at http://www.FightColorectalCancer.org.

 

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