WASHINGTON, DC – Representatives Brian Fitzpatrick (PA-1) and Joe Morelle (NY-25) announced today their bipartisan legislation to bolster screening services for breast cancer and cervical cancer has been favorably reported out of the House Energy and Commerce Committee. 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, making it easier for vulnerable populations to get the preemptive care they need.

“I am thrilled to see that the Energy & Commerce Committee has reported favorably the bipartisan SCREENS for Cancer Act,” said Congressman Fitzpatrick. “Early cancer screenings are an essential tool for saving lives, and I’m proud to co-lead this legislation that would ensure Americans, especially those who are vulnerable and reside in underserved communities, have access to screening services through the National Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection Program. I want to thank my colleague Rep. Morelle for his partnership on this critical piece of legislation, and I look forward to seeing this bill come to the House floor for a vote.”

“Too many families across America know the pain of receiving a cancer diagnosis—including my own. My daughter, Lauren, battled breast cancer with incredible courage, sharing her story and underscoring the importance of early detection,” said Congressman Morelle. “I’m proud to carry on her legacy by helping all women access the critical cancer screening services they need, regardless of their income. I’m grateful the SCREENS for Cancer Act has successfully moved through committee and I look forward to working alongside my colleague Rep. Fitzpatrick to bring it to the House floor for a vote.”

“We are pleased to see the House Committee on Energy and Commerce take a step towards passing the SCREENS for Cancer Act and preserving access to the NBCCEDP,” said Lisa A. Lacasse, president of the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network. “We thank Representatives Joseph Morelle (D-NY) and Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA) for continuing to champion this important legislation that will provide better access to breast and cervical cancer screenings to detect precancerous abnormalities and help diagnose these cancers at an earlier, more treatable stage. Early detection provides the opportunity to prevent cancer and the opportunity to detect earlier when treatment can be more successful.”

“Equitable access to screening, diagnostic and treatment services is key to addressing disparities in breast cancer. Too many barriers persist today that prevent individuals from timely access to the breast care they need,” said Molly Guthrie, Vice President of Policy and Advocacy at Susan G. Komen. “Komen is grateful the House Committee on Energy and Commerce advanced the SCREENS for Cancer Act and we look forward to continuing to work with Representatives Morelle (D-NY) and Fitzpatrick (R-PA) so that this important legislation can become law as soon as possible.”

Sadly, breast cancer screenings declined by more than 80% during the COVID-19 pandemic and remain low. National Cancer Institute studies estimate disruptions or delays in care and screening are expected to result in more than 2,500 breast cancer deaths by 2030.

The NBCCEDP authorized in the SCREENS for Cancer Act provides life-saving breast and cervical cancer screening and diagnostic services to low-income, uninsured, and underinsured individuals who do not qualify for Medicaid. At current funding levels, NBCCEDP serves only 15% of the estimated number of eligible women for breast cancer services. The SCREENS for Cancer Act would provide greater funding authorizations for this critical program to strengthen outreach and accessibility, helping connect more women with screening services to detect cancer before it’s too late.