Advocates from Across the Country Kick-Off Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month by Calling Congress to Ask Legislators to Support Colorectal Cancer Screening

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
March 4, 2011
http://www.PreventCancer.org
Contact:  Lisa Hughes (703)519-2118

WASHINGTON, D.C. – On March 2-3, 2011 advocates from across the country called their legislators urging them to support bipartisan and bicameral legislation that will ensure access to colorectal cancer screening and treatment by authorizing funding for grants to public agencies and other entities. The “Colorectal Cancer Prevention, Early Detection and Treatment Act” will establish a program at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to provide colorectal cancer screenings and treatment for low-income, uninsured and underinsured individuals who are not eligible for Medicare. Doing so will bridge the dangerous gap for men and women who are within the recommended age for colorectal cancer screening, but not yet eligible for Medicare.

Colorectal cancer is the third most commonly diagnosed cancer and the second leading cause of cancer deaths in the United States. An estimated 142,570 new cases of colorectal cancer were diagnosed in the in 2010, and an estimated 51,370 colorectal cancer deaths occurred in the same year.

Carlea Bauman, President of the Colorectal Cancer Coalition, released the following statement:
“This week advocates from all across the country spoke up and urged their Representatives to support legislation that will strike a blow against this disease that kills over 50,000 Americans each year. I applaud them for their passion and commitment. I am also grateful for the partnership of the Prevent Cancer Foundation on this effort. Together we will see the vision of a national screening and treatment program for colorectal cancer become a reality.”

Lisa Hughes, Senior Director of Policy and Advocacy at the Prevent Cancer Foundation, released the following statement:
“Constituent voices have a major impact on Members of Congress and their policy priorities. The overwhelming show of support for this life-saving legislation demonstrates a clear need for a federally supported screening program for colorectal cancer, and we are hopeful that Congress will act to pass this legislation. We extend our thanks to those that took the time to kick off Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month by calling Congress, and to our partners in this effort, the Colorectal Cancer Coalition.”

When colorectal cancer is detected early and treated, the five-year survival rate is 90 percent. However, less than 50 percent of U.S. adults age 50 and older have been screened according to recommended guidelines. Due to low screening rates, less than 40 percent of colorectal cancers are found early and when diagnosed late, the five-year survival rate drops to only 10 percent. The education and outreach included in the Colorectal Cancer Prevention, Early Detection and Treatment Act are crucial to improving these rates.

About Colorectal Cancer Coalition
The Colorectal Cancer Coalition pushes for research to improve screening, diagnosis and treatment of colorectal cancer; for policy decisions that make the most effective prevention and treatment available to all; and for increased awareness that colorectal cancer is preventable, treatable and beatable. For more information, visit www.FightColorectalCancer.org.

About Prevent Cancer Foundation
The Prevent Cancer Foundation was started in 1985. Today, it is one of the nation’s leading health organizations and has catapulted cancer prevention to prominence. Through healthy lifestyle choices, you can reduce your risk of breast, cervical, colorectal, lung, oral, prostate, skin and testicular cancers.
Since its inception the Foundation has provided more than $113 million in support of cancer prevention and early detection research, education and community outreach programs. The Foundation’s peer-reviewed grants have been awarded to nearly 400 scientists from more than 150 of the leading academic medical centers nationwide. This research has been pivotal in developing a body of knowledge that is the basis for important cancer prevention and early detection strategies. For more information, please visit www.preventcancer.org.

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