AUGUSTA - Gov. Janet Mills today signed into law LD 555, “An Act To Reduce Colorectal Cancer Incidence and Mortality by Updating Screening Coverage.” LD 555 is a simple and straightforward update to the existing law requiring insurance coverage for colorectal cancer screening in accordance with recent changes to clinical guidelines based on new evidence.
The American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN) supported the measure and worked with individuals whose lives have been impacted by cancer across Maine to urge its’ passage. The following statement can be attributed to Hilary Schneider, Maine director of government relations for ACS CAN:
“We know that screening saves lives. Early colorectal cancer usually has no symptoms, with warning signs typically only appearing with advanced stages of disease. Therefore, ensuring individuals have access to colorectal cancer screenings without cost sharing is critical to preventing colorectal cancer and reducing the burden of cancer for Mainers. Thanks to the leadership of Senator Davis, widespread legislative support and Governor Mill’s signing LD 555 into law, this is now a reality for more Mainers.
“It is the hope of ACS CAN that widespread adoption of new American Cancer Society screening guidelines, which suggest average risk individual begin screening at age 45 and ensures coverage for all types of recommended screening types, will have a major impact on the incidence, suffering, and mortality caused by colorectal cancer. The passage of LD 555 means that more Mainers will have a fighting chance of finding colorectal cancer early, when treatment is more likely to be successful, and a better chance of preventing the onset of colorectal cancer by detecting and removing polyps.”
Cancer is the leading cause of death in Maine. Colorectal cancer is the third most common cancer in both men and women, and the second leading cause of cancer deaths in Maine, when men and women are combined. In 2019, an estimated 670 Mainers will be diagnosed with colorectal cancer and 230 will die from the disease.
The American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN) is making cancer a top priority for public officials and candidates at the federal, state and local levels. ACS CAN empowers advocates across the country to make their voices heard and influence evidence-based public policy change as well as legislative and regulatory solutions that will reduce the cancer burden. As the American Cancer Society’s nonprofit, nonpartisan advocacy affiliate, ACS CAN is critical to the fight for a world without cancer. For more information, visit www.fightcancer.org