COLUMBUS, OHIO – Cancer patients, survivors and caregivers from across the state traveled to the Capitol yesterday to meet with their elected officials. They let their lawmakers know that Ohio can and must do better to reduce the toll of cancer and improve access to care for those Ohioans who have heard the words “you have cancer.”
“This year, an estimated 74,140 Ohioans will be diagnosed with cancer, and 24,770 are expected to die from the devastating disease,” said Leo Almeida, government relations director, American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network. “Those gathered at the Capitol yesterday are calling on Ohio lawmakers to change this by taking steps to make the fight against cancer a priority.”
Advocates asked lawmakers to support legislation that would improve access to biomarker testing. Dubbed ‘the right treatment at the right time,’ biomarker testing has been critical in improving cancer outcomes. Advocates also asked lawmakers to provide better access to care by passing co-pay accumulator legislation. Passing this legislation will require that all prescription drug payments made by patients, directly or on their behalf, count toward their overall out-of-pocket maximum or deductible, making cancer treatment more affordable.
Over 33% of cancer deaths in Ohio are attributed to smoking. Ohio has one of the country's highest youth tobacco use rates, with 36.7% of high school students using tobacco products. If nothing is done to reduce smoking rates, 259,000 Ohio kids currently under 18 will ultimately die prematurely from smoking.
Advocates urged state lawmakers to prioritize increasing funding to $20 million in tobacco control programs to prevent kids from starting to use tobacco and help people already addicted to tobacco quit. In doing so, Ohio would take a decisive step towards reducing tobacco use and its devastating toll on our communities.
Lastly, to better detect and treat breast and cervical cancer, advocates asked lawmakers to support funding for the Ohio Breast and Cervical Cancer Project.
About ACS CAN
The American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN) makes cancer a top priority for policymakers at every level of government. ACS CAN empowers volunteers across the country to make their voices heard to influence evidence-based public policy change that improves the lives of people with cancer and their families. We believe everyone should have a fair and just opportunity to prevent, find, treat, and survive cancer. Since 2001, as the American Cancer Society’s nonprofit, nonpartisan advocacy affiliate, ACS CAN has successfully advocated for billions of dollars in cancer research funding, expanded access to quality affordable health care, and advanced proven tobacco control measures. We’re more determined than ever to stand together with our volunteers to end cancer as we know it, for everyone. Join the fight by visiting www.fightcancer.org.