Weeks after cancer advocates rallied at the State Capitol in support of funding for the Mary Brogan Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection Program, the Florida House and Senate failed to include any of the $1.8 million in non-recurring funding that had been included in each of the past two state budgets.
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” said Matt Jordan, government relations director for the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN). “The state’s legislative leaders have supported this program in the past and it’s critically important that they consider the impact that a funding reduction will have on low-income, uninsured and underinsured women throughout Florida – they should be increasing investment in this lifesaving screening and early detection program, not reducing funding.”
The program also was not included in the governor’s budget proposal released earlier this year.
Since the program first received state money in fiscal year 2013, more than 132,500 women have been screened through the program. Even at current funding levels, however, the program only has only enough money to screen less than 6 percent of the women eligible for the program in Florida.
“Over the past few years, hundreds of women in Florida have had their cancers detected and have gained access to lifesaving cancer treatment as a result of this program,” said Jordan. “Eliminating funding puts thousands of women at risk of dying from a disease that is much more treatable when it is detected as early as possible.”
Florida ranks 2nd in the United States in the number of new breast cancer cases as well as 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/.
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