South Carolina Lawmakers Should Increase Funding for Critical Cancer Screenings

Program Needs More Money Due to Overwhelming Need Amid Increasing Cases

March 14, 2024

COLUMBIA, S.C. – March 14, 2024 – As we mark Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month this March, the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN) is calling on the South Carolina legislature to increase funding for the state’s Colorectal Cancer Prevention Network, which provides access to lifesaving preventive care to at-risk South Carolinians.

ACS CAN urges lawmakers to increase the program’s funding from $1 million to $2 million to meet high demand and critical needs for medically underserved people.

“As a 61-year-old man with a family history of cancer, the need to get a colonoscopy had been weighing on me for more than a decade,” said Michael Brooks of Hopkins. “However, I am self-employed and uninsured, so I never went to get it. Thankfully, I was able to get screened through the CCPN. I am so thankful for the state funding that allowed me to access the colonoscopy test and for the peace of mind I now feel, especially given what my dad and brother went through.”

Brooks is not alone. In 2023, the CCPN served nearly 1,300 people and ran out of funding before the end of the year.

“There is more need for this program than they are able to keep up with,” said Beth Johnson, government relations director for ACS CAN in South Carolina. “We’re urging lawmakers to add funding so the CCPN can double the number of people screened and save lives.”

The American Cancer Society estimates nearly 35,000 people will be diagnosed with cancer this year in the Palmetto State and finds a concerning increase in colorectal cancer cases and deaths among young people. The disease is now the leading cause of death in men under 50 and second-leading cause of death in women under 50.

Media Contacts

Stacy Jacobson
Senior Regional Media Advocacy Manager