With a new president and Congress taking office this year, Fight Colorectal Cancer’s commitment to give those affected by colorectal cancer a voice on the Hill is stronger than ever. That commitment will be heavily supported by the members of Fight CRC’s Congressional Advisory Committee (CAC).
The CAC is formed by representatives Rodney Davis (R-Ill.), Charlie Dent (R-Pa.), Leonard Lance (R-N.J.), Betty McCollum (D-Minn.), and Donald M. Payne, Jr. (D-NJ). The members of this bipartisan committee provide guidance and support towards better screening policies, awareness and any research issues related to prevention and treatment of colorectal cancer.
“Colorectal cancer is a disease that has affected hundreds of thousands of American families – including mine,” said Rep. McCollum. “Colorectal cancer remains the second-leading cause of cancer deaths in the United States. In Congress I am working to support a cure for this disease and to advocate for policies that support research, screening, and prevention.”
“I have lost two members of my family to this disease,” said Dent. “It is my privilege to serve with my colleagues on the CAC to fight colorectal cancer by supporting new research, removing roadblocks to early detection and prevention.”
The fight against colorectal cancer is also a personal one for Payne, Jr. He lost his father to colorectal cancer, which has made him a fervent advocate for early detection, education about risk factors, and preventive cancer screenings.
“I will continue to strongly support the efforts of the colorectal cancer community,” stated Rep. Payne, Jr. “ I will do whatever I can, whenever I can, to raise awareness for this disease and expand access to life-saving screenings.”
Rep. Lance reiterates that the CAC members are ready to work with Fight CRC and its partners in keeping up the momentum of cancer patient advocacy in the new Congress.
“The team at Fight CRC have helped countless patients and loved ones manage this terrible disease,” said Lance. “I stand with them in their fight for better treatments, faster remedies and, most importantly, new cures.”
Davis’ focus is on increasing research focused on the early onset of colorectal cancer. His wife Shannon was diagnosed at age 26 with a genetic form of colon cancer known as Lynch syndrome.
“The average age of diagnosis for colorectal cancer is 72 but this age is growing younger each year,” said Davis. “Shannon’s training as a nurse led her to push doctors for an answer and early detection allowed her to defeat this cancer that tragically claims the lives of more than 50,000 people each year.”
Davis also vowed to fight for legislation that encourages more colorectal cancer screenings, and the use of new DNA testing technology.
Some of the issues the CAC will be assisting Fight CRC with during 2017 include:
- Removing barriers to colorectal cancer screening
- Investing in colorectal cancer research
- Protecting the best interests of patients
Advocacy is now more important than ever
Advocacy is a fundamental part of Fight CRC’s continuing efforts. In the changing political climate, Fight CRC President Anjee Davis states that advocacy is more important than ever.
“Advocates help us magnify the urgency of supporting research for a cure, access to care and increased screening and awareness about colorectal cancer, “ said Davis. “With a new administration and new Congress, we need to stay vigilant as we monitor and push for better policies, especially given the spotlight on the repeal and replacement of the Affordable Care Act.”
Davis adds now is the time to reach out to elected officials at the federal, state and local levels. Make sure you’re signed up as an advocate so we can notify you with instructions for taking action.
“It’s the stories of survivors and their families that help shape the issues impacting our community,” said Davis.