ACS CAN Urges Lawmakers to Further Financial Commitment in Light of Florida’s Rising Cancer Cases and Long-Lasting Pandemic Impacts

House and Senate Budgets Prioritize Cancer Research Funding

March 2, 2022

TALLAHASSEE, FL – March 2, 2022 – Today, the Florida House and Senate continued to consolidate their priorities during the 2022 budget conference, including dedicating a total $100 million toward cancer research.  

The below is a statement on behalf of the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN) in reaction and can be attributed to ACS CAN Florida Senior Government Relations Director Susan Harbin.

“We’re grateful to see continued financial commitment from the legislature that will ensure future progress in the fight against cancer to help find cures and innovative therapies that will save lives today and for generations to come.  

“It’s our hope that as the legislature continues to unify their year-end budget that they build on such lifesaving action by fully funding our state’s Mary Brogan Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection Program, which plays a key role in saving lives from our breast cancer, our state’s leading cancer diagnosis. 

“Breast and cervical cancer screening rates fell 80% at the beginning of the pandemic, and in real-time, we’re seeing an influx in late-stage diagnosis as a result. Now, nearly two years into the pandemic, we have yet to return to pre-pandemic screening rates or take proven policy action that addresses it.  

“A $3 million investment in the Mary Brogan program would allow us the resources necessary to truly address today’s massive backlog in screenings by expanding our reach to underserved communities, particularly in Black and Latino communities that make up the majority of individuals eligible for the program, but only a fraction of patients served. 

Currently, both the respective House and Senate budgets include recurring funding of $1.83 million for Mary Brogan. Unfortunately, current funding levels only reach a mere 8% of eligible Floridians. Experts predict eligibility to increase in states that haven’t expanded Medicaid, like Florida, as a result of the pandemic’s financial impact on families.  

Breast cancer is the most common cancer diagnosis in Florida and the leading cause of death for both Latina women living in the U.S. and most recently Black women. More than 20,000 Floridians are estimated to be diagnosed with breast cancer this year alone.  

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