WASHINGTON, DC – Congressman Brian Fitzpatrick (PA-01), along with Congressman Joe Morelle (NY-25), introduced bipartisan legislation to improve access to screening services for breast cancer and cervical cancer, making it easier for vulnerable populations to get the preemptive care they need. The Screening for Communities to Receive Early and Equitable Needed Services (SCREENS) for Cancer Act would reauthorize the National Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection Program (NBCCEDP) through 2028, helping make screening services more accessible to more people. Senators Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) and Susan Collins (R-ME) have introduced companion legislation in the Senate.
“Early testing is a proven method for saving lives and improving outcomes of breast cancer diagnoses,” said Congressman Fitzpatrick, co-chair of the Bipartisan Congressional Cancer Caucus. “I’m proud to join a bipartisan, bicameral group of colleagues on the SCREENS Act to ensure that vulnerable and underserved communities have access to these life-saving screening services.”
“Too many families across America know the pain of receiving a cancer diagnosis. This year alone, over 300,000 people in the United States will be diagnosed with breast cancer and another 14,000 will be diagnosed with cervical cancer,” said Congressman Morelle. “My daughter, Lauren, battled breast cancer for two years with incredible courage, sharing her story and underscoring the importance of early detection. I’m proud to carry on her legacy by helping all women access the critical cancer screening services they need, regardless of their income—so fewer families will suffer the unimaginable loss of a loved one.”
“Cancer touches every community across the country, but with proper screening and treatment, we can save lives and prevent heartache of families,” said Senator Baldwin. “The NBCCEDP has a proven track record of reaching underserved communities and providing preventative and diagnostic cancer services nationwide. I am proud to introduce this bipartisan legislation to promote preventative care and ensure everyone has access to these critical, lifesaving services."
“Cancer prevention and screening programs are vital because the earlier this disease is caught, the better the prognosis,” said Senator Collins. “NBCCEDP provides thousands of uninsured and underinsured Mainers with breast and cervical cancer screening, diagnostic, and treatment services each year. Our bipartisan legislation would reauthorize and strengthen this critical program, helping to improve the health of women in Maine and nationwide and ultimately saving lives.”
“Screening is a key step in routine breast care but so many people are currently unable to access it – the SCREENS for Cancer Act can change that,” said Molly Guthrie, VP of Policy & Advocacy at Susan G. Komen. “We have to make timely access to high-quality screening and diagnosis available to all, especially those in under-resourced communities where disparities in outcomes are highest, so that cancers can be caught early when there are more treatment options and prognosis is better.”