ACS CAN Praises Advancement of Critical Legislation to Improve Access to Breast and Cervical Cancer Screenings in the House

The SCREENS for Cancer Act reauthorizes highly impactful national breast and cervical cancer early detection program until 2028  

March 12, 2024

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The House Energy and Commerce Committee’s Subcommittee on Health today marked up the Screening for Communities to Receive Early and Equitable Needed Services (SCREENS) for Cancer Act, H.R. 3916. The bipartisan legislation would reauthorize the National Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection Program (NBCCEDP) through 2028. The NBCCEDP has effectively provided critical breast and cervical cancer screenings, follow-up, diagnosis and treatment to underserved, underinsured, and uninsured individuals nationwide for more than 30 years. The Senate version of the bill, S.1840, was marked up by the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee in late 2023. 

In response to today’s mark up, Lisa A. Lacasse, president of the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN), released the following statement: 

“We are pleased to see the House Subcommittee on Health take a step toward passing the SCREENS for Cancer Act and preserving access to the NBCCEDP. We thank Representatives Joseph Morelle (D-N.Y.) and Brian Fitzpatrick (R-Pa.) for continuing to champion this important legislation that will provide better access to breast and cervical cancer screenings to detect precancerous abnormalities and help diagnose these cancers at an earlier, more treatable stage.  

“Early detection provides the opportunity to prevent cancer - such as by removing precancerous abnormalities - and the opportunity to detect and treat cancer earlier when treatment can be more successful to reduce the risk of death from cancer. Yet far too many have not benefited from early detection due to a lack of access to necessary screenings. Improving access to cancer prevention and early detection services is critical to ending cancer as we know it, for everyone. By allowing the flexibility needed to build on already impactful work and aggressively increasing investment in outreach, the SCREENS for Cancer Act will enable the NBCCEDP to reach more eligible people who may not otherwise be screened, including those who are geographically isolated and/or belong to a racial or ethnic group disproportionately impacted by breast cancer and cervical cancer.   

“We urge Congress to pass the SCREENS for Cancer Act to ensure continued access to breast and cervical cancer screenings, which can help reduce the unequal cancer burden and save more lives.”