HOUSTON, TX – April 7, 2022 – Rep. Giovanni Capriglione (HD-98) received the Advocacy in Action award yesterday, one of the most prestigious awards presented by the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN), in recognition of his significant contributions to the fight against cancer in Texas, including his leadership this past session in co-authoring legislation that makes it more affordable for Texans to receive their lifesaving colorectal cancer screenings.
ACS CAN, the advocacy affiliate of the American Cancer Society, presents the annual award to select lawmakers who demonstrate outstanding leadership in the area of cancer-related public policy .
“Rep. Capriglione has established himself as a true advocate for cancer patients and their families by championing legislation that is expected to save thousands of lives across the state for one of the most preventable cancers,” said James Gray, Texas Government Relations Director at ACS CAN. “On behalf of all Texas families touched by cancer, we’re so grateful for his steadfast leadership that resulted in a historic measure that eliminated a major barrier that has impeded access to preventive screenings and look forward to the impact of such a lifesaving law.”
Colorectal cancer screening rates have been dangerously low across the state even prior to the pandemic and incidence rates have been increasing among adults under age 50 and particularly in Black, Latino and rural communities as a result. Under the new law, Texans 45 and older now have coverage for colorectal cancer screenings, lowering the stage age from 50 to 45, and coverage for colonoscopies following a positive non-invasive screening test.
“I am so pleased and proud to present the Texas Advocacy in Action Award to my state representative, Rep. Giovanni Capriglione, for the work he did to help pass this life-saving legislation,” shared Teresa Rutherford, a Colleyville resident who has volunteered with ACS CAN Texas for over 20 years and presented the award to Rep. Capriglione. “Now, Texans can be assured their colon cancer screening includes a follow-up colonoscopy if one is deemed necessary by their physician.”
Colorectal cancer remains the second leading cause of cancer death in Texas, despite being one of the few preventable cancer, and it’s estimated that over 11,000 Texans will receive a diagnosis this year.
The bill passed on May 18, 2021 with a unanimous vote by the legislature, mere hours following the announcement of new recommendations by the United States Preventive Services Task Force which too lowers the age to begin colorectal screening from 50 to 45 and became effective on September 1, 2021.