For cancer patients and survivors caught in the coverage gap, we know access to health care means comprehensive coverage for cessation and other resources to help Mississippians with limited incomes successfully quit smoking, but it also means access to screening, medications, and life-saving treatment.
Coalition Delivers Letter to Governor Hochul In Support of Cancer Services Program
Requests $25.6 million for screening program in the Fiscal Year 2023-24
January 11, 2023
Hon. Kathy Hochul
New York State Capitol
Albany, NY 12224
Re: Support for the New York State Cancer Services Program
Dear Governor Hochul and State Leaders
On behalf of our organizations, we are writing to respectfully request that you dedicate $25.6 million to the New York State Cancer Services Program (CSP) and establish a $1 million operating budget line to support the operations of the CSP in the Fiscal Year 2023-24.
Cancer is the second leading cause of death in New York State. In 2023 there will be over 118,000 new cases of cancer and over 32,000 New Yorkers will die of the disease. More specifically, an estimated 17,800 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer, 870 women will be diagnosed with cervical cancer and an additional 8,950 men and women will be diagnosed with colorectal cancer. Approximately 5,330 New Yorkers will die from these three cancers alone. These are not just numbers. Each one of them is someone’s family member, loved one, friend. One thing that all these cancers have in common is that each of them can be detected through screening and when caught at an early state, have a significantly higher survival rate.
The CSP was established to provide New Yorkers with free breast, cervical and colorectal cancer screenings, and diagnostic services. The CSP is available to individuals living in New York with limited income who either have no health insurance or are covered by a plan that applies cost-sharing for preventative or diagnostic services.
Despite its record of success, given its current resources, the CSP is currently able to reach only 18% of the entire eligible population in New York. This includes Black and Hispanic/Latino cancer patients—two groups which are more likely to be diagnosed at later stages than Whites for breast, colorectal and cervical cancers due, in part, to lower screening rates.
Compounding the challenges faced by the CSP, the COVID-19 pandemic has caused a decline in potential lifesaving cancer screenings, resulting in increased cancer incidence and death. For instance, the decrease in colonoscopies and biopsies caused by the pandemic are projected to result in 4,500 excess deaths from colorectal cancer and an excess of 2,500 breast cancer deaths alone by 2030 nationwide according to recent National Cancer Institute (NCI) studies.
In 2017, Governor Cuomo reduced the CSP budget by 20%, from $25.6 to $19.8 million, annually, where it has remained. State funding for the CSP has been supplemented in part each year by two grants from the federal government by way of the National Breast & Cervical Cancer Early Detection Program and the National Comprehensive Cancer Control Program. In 2022 those grants were reduced by a total of more than $1.34 million resulting in a further challenge to screening in New York.
To ensure that every New Yorker has access to breast, cervical and colorectal cancer screening, we are calling on the state to recommit the 20% lost in 2017 and dedicate $25.6 million to the CSP, expanding the availability of screening to low-income, under-, and uninsured residents. Additionally, New York State should establish a specific budget line for operating expenses needed to implement the CSP and allocate $1 million in Fiscal Year 2023-22. These investments should be a down payment on a larger investment as part of New York State’s 2024-2029 Comprehensive Cancer Control Plan which is due to be released in 2023.
Investing in cancer prevention and early detection saves lives. By investing in the CSP, New York can reduce the number of family members, loved ones, and friends lost to cancer.
We appreciate your time and attention on this important matter. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact Michael Davoli at [email protected]
- African American Tobacco control Leadership Council
- American Cancer Society
- American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network
- Bassett Healthcare
- Brooklyn College Cancer Center, CUNY
- Christ Church UCC - Bronx Multi-Faith Advisory Group
- Colorectal Cancer Alliance
- Columbia University Herbert Irving Comprehensive Cancer Center
- Crohn's & Colitis Foundation
- Fight Colorectal Cancer
- Glens Falls Hospital
- Hispanic Health Network--Logo
- Hudson Headwaters Health Network
- Island Digestive Health Center
- Long Island Community Hospital
- Medical Society of the State of New York
- Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center
- Montefiore Health System
- Mount Sinai Health System
- NAACP NYS Conference
- National Multiple Sclerosis Society
- New York Oncology Hematology
- New York State Academy of Family Physicians
- New York State Association of County Health Officials
- New York State Association For Rural Health
- New York State Public Health Association
- Northwell Health
- NYU Langone Health
- Oswego County OB-GYN, P.C.
- Ovarian Cancer Project
- Peconic Bay Medical Center
- PE GI Solutions
- Putnam GI
- Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center
- Rural Health Network
- South Brooklyn Endoscopy Center
- St. Lawrence County Health Initiative, Inc.
- Staten Island University Hospital
- Stony Brook Cancer Center
- Susan G Komen Breast Cancer Foundation
- University at Buffalo
- University of Rochester
CC: All state leaders