Governor Budget Proposal Threatens Critical Cancer Screening Program
TALLAHASEE, Fla. – January 31, 2017 – After the state invested $2.1 million into the Mary Brogan Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection Program in each of the last two years, Governor Rick Scott failed to include funding for the program in the budget he released today. The program provides lifesaving cancer screenings to medically underserved women between the ages of 50 and 64 whose incomes are below 200 percent of the federal poverty level.
“Providing women the opportunity to detect cancer early when it is most survivable is something that everyone deserves, no matter who they are or where they live,” said Heather Youmans, senior government relations director for the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN). “The state has supported this program in the past and it’s critically important that House and Senate leadership step up to ensure more women have access to it, not less.”
Since the program first received state money in fiscal year 2013, more than 132,500 women have received screenings and diagnostic services through the program. Even at current funding levels, however, the program only has only enough money to screen about 5.7 percent of eligible women in the state.
“This program has been a lifesaver for hundreds of women in Florida because it provides access to evidenced-based screenings, which are the most important tools for detecting breast and cervical cancer early and improving survival rates,” said Youmans.
Florida has moved up to 2nd in the United States in the number of new breast cancer cases per year as well as in the number of deaths. An estimated 18,170 Florida women will receive a breast cancer diagnosis and an estimated 2,910 are expected to die from the disease in 2017.
ABOUT ACS CAN
ACS CAN, the nonprofit, nonpartisan advocacy affiliate of the American Cancer Society, supports evidence-based policy and legislative solutions designed to eliminate cancer as a major health problem. ACS CAN works to encourage elected officials and candidates to make cancer a top national priority. ACS CAN gives ordinary people extraordinary power to fight cancer with the training and tools they need to make their voices heard. For more information, visit https://www.fightcancer.org/.