American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network Applauds House Committee Vote to Reauthorize National Breast and Cervical Cancer Screening Program

September 27, 2006

WASHINGTON — September 27, 2006 — The American Cancer Society Cancer Action
NetworkSM(ACS CAN), the sister advocacy organization of the American Cancer
Society, today lauded the House Energy and Commerce Committee’s approval of the
National Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection Program (NBCCEDP). The
legislation, H.R. 5472, will now go to the full House for a vote. Introduced last May by
Representatives Sue Myrick (R-NC) and Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), the bill would
reauthorize the program and give states greater flexibility to reach more women who are
eligible and in need. It would also authorize $48 million in additional funding to allow at
least 130,000 additional women access to the program.

“With Breast Cancer Awareness Month just a few days away, we are reminded of
the enormous strides we’ve made in cancer over the last two decades, and of the great
opportunity we have in front of us to expand this progress to all corners of every
community,” said Daniel E. Smith, the ACS CAN’s national vice president of
government relations. “Cancer screening and treatment should never be subjected to an
economic litmus test. The NBCCEDP helps eliminate these barriers and saves lives.
Representatives in the House are to be commended for their continued efforts to make the
components of this legislation a reality for the millions of women in need. We look
forward to working with them and their colleagues in the Senate on full passage and
implementation of this bill toward a day when all women in need have access to this vital

Established in 1991 and administered by the Centers for Disease Control and
Prevention (CDC), the NBCCEDP provides breast and cervical cancer screenings,
follow-up services and information to women most at risk, such as low-income,
uninsured or underinsured women. The U.S. Senate companion bill for the NBCCEDP,
S. 1687, was introduced last September by Senators Barbara Mikulski (D-MD) and Kay
Bailey Hutchison (R-TX) and currently has 26 co-sponsors. The House bill has 118 cosponsors.

At current funding levels, the program is only able to help one out of every five
eligible women. That number decreases to as low as five percent in states like Mississippi
where the need is even greater. Compounding this crisis is the proposed cut of $1.4
million for the NBCCEDP in the President’s 2007 budget request. Last week, the
American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network brought 10,000 cancer advocates to
Washington to speak with lawmakers about making cancer a national priority. These
advocates, many of whom were beneficiaries of the NBCCEDP, compelled more than
300 Members of Congress to sign the Congressional Cancer Promise, an outline of
necessary legislative proposals that includes passage of the NBCCEDP reauthorization.

To date, the NBCCEDP has provided nearly six million screening tests to 2.5
million women, detecting more than 22,000 breast cancers and 76,000 pre-cancerous
cervical lesions. The Society estimates that 1,399,790 Americans will be diagnosed with
cancer in 2006 and another 564,830 will die from the disease, 45,000 from breast and
cervical cancer.

The American Cancer Society is partnering with ACS CAN, its sister advocacy
organization, to eliminate cancer as a major public health problem. Founded in 1913 and
with national headquarters in Atlanta, Georgia, the Society has 13 regional Divisions and
local offices in 3,400 communities, involving millions of volunteers across America. For
more information anytime, call toll free 1-800-ACS-2345 or visit ACS
CAN, a nonprofit, non-partisan advocacy organization, uses voter education and issue
campaigns aimed at influencing candidates and lawmakers to support laws and policies
that will help people fight cancer. ACS CAN does not endorse candidates and is not a
political action committee (PAC). For more information, visit

Colleen Wilber
American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network
[email protected]

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