Rhode Island Lawmakers Enter 2021 Legislative Session with Opportunity to Ensure Access to Affordable Colorectal Cancer Screenings

ACS CAN Looks Forward to Working with the Legislature to Reduce the Cancer Burden in the New Year; Ensure Healthier Outcomes During COVID-19 Pandemic

January 5, 2021

PROVIDENCE, RI –  As today marks the start of the legislative session in Rhode Island, the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN) looks ahead to what public health initiatives lawmakers can accomplish in the 2021 legislative session, pushing for overall better health outcomes in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

According to Cori Chandler, director of government relations for ACS CAN in Rhode Island, lawmakers have a critical opportunity to reduce the cancer burden in the state through common sense legislation that would help reduce the death and disease related to colorectal cancer, a cancer type which is the second leading cause of death in the U.S. when men and women are combined.

Specifically, lawmakers can ensure Rhode Islanders can access affordable preventative colorectal cancer screening beginning at age 45 by eliminating cost-sharing for all preventative colorectal cancer screening tests for people 45 and older, even if they are performed as a follow up to a positive less invasive screening. 

This legislation passed the Rhode Island Senate last year before being tabled due to COVID-19 related changes to the legislative session schedule. 2021 provides an opportunity for lawmakers to revisit this legislation and reduce the cancer burden across Rhode Island. 

“The COVID-19 pandemic has many of us thinking about how we can live longer and healthier lives, and ensuring people have affordable access to appropriate cancer screenings is a critical part of living a healthy life” said Chandler. “Colorectal cancer is one of the few truly preventable cancers, which is why colorectal cancer screenings are one of the most cost-effective population based preventive screenings.”

Cancer patients, survivors and advocates look forward to meeting virtually with lawmakers over these issues during ACS CAN's annual Rhode Island Cancer Action Week beginning March 15th.  ACS CAN encourages individuals, businesses and organizations that are interested in these issues to reach out to ACS CAN to get involved in the fight against cancer at  

The American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN) is making cancer a top priority for public officials and candidates at the federal, state and local levels. ACS CAN empowers advocates across the country to make their voices heard and influence evidence-based public policy change as well as legislative and regulatory solutions that will reduce the cancer burden. As the American Cancer Society's nonprofit, nonpartisan advocacy affiliate, ACS CAN is critical to the fight for a world without cancer. For more information, visit