Friday brings to an end National Minority Cancer Awareness Week – a campaign first initiated by Congress in 1987 to bring awareness to the higher incidence rates of cancer in the racial and ethnic minority communities.
Colorectal cancer is a disease that has a greater mortality rate among minorities, especially within the African American and Hispanic communities.
Colorectal cancer will claim over 52,000 lives in 2008, making it the second leading cause of death from cancer in the United States. When Americans are screened according the American Cancer Society guidelines and diagnosed early, they have a 90% survival rate. Sadly, the truth is that fewer than 40% of patients are appropriately screened. One major reason for low screening rates is the lack of coverage for screenings and treatment.
If the majority of Americans age 50 or older were screened regularly for colorectal cancer, the death rate from this disease could fall by up to 80 percent.
The Colorectal Cancer Prevention, Early Detection, and Treatment Act of 2007 (HR 1738) would establish a screening and treatment program administered by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and would authorize funding for grants to the states. The grants would be used to conduct programs to provide vital colon cancer screenings, information and follow-up services to those ages 50-64, with a focus on those most at risk, such as low-income, uninsured and underinsured men and women.
Take Action today and write your Members of Congress urging them to support this critical legislation.
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