A bill re-introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives late Tuesday aims to improve access to new and innovative cancer screenings among Medicare beneficiaries in order to increase early detection of more cancers for more Americans.
Alabama Governor Kay Ivey Recognizes Cancer Screening Week
Governor Calls on Citizens to Talk with their Doctor about Risk and Early Detection
Governor Kay Ivey recognized the first week of December as Cancer Screening Week on Tuesday with a proclamation that encourages all Alabama citizens to discuss their individual risk factors for cancer with their healthcare providers and to educate themselves about cancer screening resources available to them.
According to a study done by the American Cancer Society, nearly half of all cancer deaths can be prevented by living an active lifestyle, eating a healthful diet, not using tobacco products, and getting recommended screenings. Across the nation, the cancer death rate dropped 25 percent between 1991 and 2014 because of reductions in smoking and advances in early detection and treatment.
“Many cancers are often preventable, and early detection and treatment are critical as cancer does not always cause symptoms, and many occur in people with no family history,” said Ginny Campbell, Alabama government relations director at the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN). “Providing all Alabamians with the opportunity to have a healthy lifestyle and access to screenings could save thousands of lives every year.”
The five-year relative survival rate for cancers found in the early stage of the disease is about 55 percent for lung cancers, 90 percent for colon and rectum cancers, 91 percent for cervical cancers, 98 percent for melanoma cancer of the skin, and 99 percent for breast cancer. When diagnosed with cancer at a later stage, the illness is more costly and difficult to treat, and individuals are less likely to survive.
Research has found that specific cancer types disproportionately affect different populations. For example, breast cancer is the most common form of cancer among Black women, prostate cancer rates in Black men are double those of men of other races, cervical cancer is more prevalent among Hispanic and African-American women, and melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer, is among the most common cancers in young adults.
“Everyone needs access to cancer screenings,” said Campbell. “The progress that’s been made in the effectiveness of cancer screenings and treatments mean little if our citizens don’t have access to these services.”
To learn more, visit cancerscreenweek.org or cancer.org.
American Cancer Society Cancer Acton Network (ACS CAN)
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.