Archive for the ‘News’ Category

Senate Joins House in Introducing Legislation to Protect Access to Mammograms

Friday, August 7th, 2015

Senate Legislation Mirrors House PALS Act in calling for a two-year moratorium on USPSTF breast cancer screening recommendations

August 7, 2015

Lisa Berry

WASHINGTON – The Prevent Cancer Foundation praises the leadership of Senators Barbara Mikulski (D-MD) and Kelly Ayotte (R-NH) for introducing the “Protect Access to Lifesaving Screenings Act” (PALS Act). The legislation, S. 1926, would prevent the recent U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) draft recommendations for breast cancer screening from being finalized for two years. The legislation comes just one week after Representatives Renee Ellmers (NC-02) and Debbie Wasserman Schultz (FL-23) introduced a similar bill, H.R. 3339, the “Protect Access to Lifesaving Screenings Act” (PALS Act), in the House.

“Strong leadership and bipartisan support in both the House and Senate are critical if we are going to try to save lives by rolling back the USPSTF recommendations to 40 years of age, which is where they should be,” said Carolyn Aldigé, President and Founder of the Prevent Cancer Foundation. “We thank Senators Mikulski and Ayotte for demonstrating their leadership in the Senate.”

Medical experts agree that mammograms save lives, making the draft recommendations particularly troubling. According to the Task Force, most women ages 40-49 do not need an annual exam. By granting a “C” grade for women in this age group, the recommendations, if finalized, could result in millions of women losing insurance coverage for their mammograms, forcing women to pay out of pocket or avoid the exam. The proposed Senate and House legislation seek to mitigate this situation by preventing the recommendations from being finalized until concerns from the medical community and patients have been addressed.

The Prevent Cancer Foundation, alongside 14 other organizations, signed on to a petition urging Congress to protect access to mammograms for women under age 50. The petition, available at has generated signatures from thousands of individuals who stand with the Foundation and its partners.

“We encourage you to have a voice and sign the petition, and then pass it onto your friends and family. Women must have the confidence that mammograms will be covered by their 40th birthdays. We don’t want to see a day where people are not getting mammograms until the age of 50. If we do, we will also likely see diagnosis of breast cancer in later stages rise,” said Mrs. Aldigé.


About The Prevent Cancer Foundation

Founded in 1985, the Prevent Cancer Foundation is the only U.S. nonprofit focused solely on cancer prevention and early detection. Since its inception, the Foundation has provided more than $138 million in support of cancer prevention and early detection research, education, outreach and advocacy programs across the country.

For more information, please visit

ICYMI: August 7, 2015

Friday, August 7th, 2015


Feature Story

Birth Control Pills Give Women Dramatic Anti-Cancer Benefits WEDNESDAY, August 5, 2015 (Forbes)– Women now have a surprising new reason to go on the pill.

Birth control pills have been around since the 1960s, when they offered women a revolutionary degree of control over their reproductive capabilities. Over the years, the formulation of “the pill” has changed, but it remains one of the most widely used, and most effective, forms of pregnancy prevention.

This week, a very large new study in The Lancet Oncology reported that use of birth control pills provides a significant, and surprisingly large, reduction in the risk of endometrial cancer. The benefit lasts for decades–women who used the pill in the 1960s have the same reduction in cancer rates as women who took it more recently. This is very good news for women.

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The alluring idea that we can cure cancer has become a trap Aug. 6, The Washington Post

U.S. bill would delay USPSTF mammo recommendations Aug. 3, Aunt Minnie

Veterans returning from Middle East face higher skin cancer risk Aug.3, Medical Xpress

Long-Term Ovarian Cancer Survival Higher Than Thought Aug. 4, Newswise

ICYMI: July 31, 2015

Friday, July 31st, 2015


Feature Story

This week’s feature story is from the current issue of Newsweek magazine “Curing Cancer.” Check out the issue for more articles on cancer prevention, health disparities, early detection and treatment.

The Cancer Epidemic in Central Appalachia

SUNDAY, July 19, 2015 (Newsweek) — Seen from above, the Appalachian Mountains jut from the earth like a spine curving through the eastern U.S., reaching north into Canada and south into Mississippi. For most Americans, this lush region conjures the strum of a banjo, the songs of Loretta Lynn and the gentle twang of a thick mountain accent. A closer listen reveals other, more disconcerting noises: the raspy voices, heavy wheezing and sighs of resignation that so frequently accompany a diagnosis of lung cancer.

You might have also  missed…

Black Men are Twice as Likely to Die of Prostate Cancer as White Men Jul 30, TIME

Early Detection of Ovarian Cancer Jul 29, Huffington Post blog

Yale study identifies ‘major player’ in skin cancer genes Jul 27, Yale News

Strange circular DNA may offer way to detect cancers Jul 29, University of Virginia Health System

Bloomberg: Mammograms Would Stay Free for Younger Women in Proposed Bill

Thursday, July 30th, 2015

This article was published here by Bloomberg.

Zachary Tracer

July 20, 2015- 8:40 PM EDT

Two U.S. representatives are pushing back against a recommendation from an expert panel that could limit free breast-cancer screenings for younger women.

Renee Ellmers, a North Carolina Republican, and Debbie Wasserman Schultz, a Florida Democrat, submitted a bill Wednesday to put a two-year moratorium on a proposal from the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force that might end guaranteed insurance coverage for mammograms for women ages 40 to 49. The panel said in April that the benefits of those screenings may not outweigh harms such as false positives, though it hasn’t yet issued final recommendations.

If the bill passes, it wouldn’t be the first time Congress has effectively overruled the experts on breast-cancer screening. The controversy dates back to 2009, when the panel made a similar recommendation that turned out to be so controversial that lawmakers created a provision of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act to keep coverage intact.

“Upwards of 22 million women are at risk for losing access to mammograms,” Ellmers said in an e-mailed statement. “This type of recommendation impairs access to breast cancer screenings and would be detrimental for women’s health.”

Harms and Benefits

After its recommendation was ignored in 2009, the task force found in April that the harms of mammograms outweigh the benefits for most women under 50. It gave the screening a C rating. Insurers are required to cover procedures that get an A or B from the group.

“It is wrong of the USPSTF to write off any young woman in her forties who wants to have a mammogram, and this legislation will ensure we hear from the group most affected by these draft recommendations — young women under the age of 50,” Wasserman Schultz said in an e-mailed statement.

The panel said women ages 50 to 74 should get a mammogram every other year and gave that recommendation a B. It also said women with a family history of breast cancer should consider starting screenings earlier.

The USPSTF is an independent panel of medical experts that examines the harms and benefits of medical procedures. It doesn’t consider costs.

“The decision to start screening mammography in women prior to age 50 years should be an individual one,” the panel said. “Women who place a higher value on the potential benefit than the potential harms may choose to begin biennial screening between the ages of 40 and 49.”

ICYMI: July 24, 2015

Friday, July 24th, 2015


Feature Story

More evidence smoking raises risk of death from breast cancer
WEDNESDAY, July 22, 2015 (FOX News) — Long-time smokers may face an increased risk of death if they develop breast cancer, according to a Japanese study that adds to a growing body of evidence highlighting the lethal effects of cigarettes.

Among more than 800 women with breast cancer, those who had smoked for more than two decades had at least triple the odds of dying of any cause, or from breast cancer in particular, compared with women who never used cigarettes.

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Only One State Currently Requires HPV Vaccine to Prevent Cancer Jul 14, Healthline

Additional Radiation Reduces Breast-Cancer Recurrence for Some Patients Jul 20, Newswise

Geography plays a role in early cancer diagnosis Jul 23, Consumer Affairs

How to protect yourself from rising cases of skin cancer Jul 22, WNCN

ICYMI: July 17, 2015

Friday, July 17th, 2015


Feature Story

Gardasil HPV Vaccine Safety Assessed In Most Comprehensive Study To Date WEDNESDAY, July 15, 2015 (Forbes) — The largest review of the available evidence on the quadrivalent, or four-strain, HPV vaccine Gardasil, has found no evidence of any serious short-term or long-term safety issues. Bringing together the findings from clinical trials, post-licensure studies and data presented at scientific meetings but not yet published, the researchers focused particularly on autoimmune diseases, nervous system disorders, anaphylaxis, blood clots and stroke – but none of them is caused by the vaccine, they found.

You might have also missed…

Here’s the Amount of Exercise That Lowers Breast Cancer Risk Jul 16, TIME

One Woman’s Story Highlights the Hidden Skin Cancer Risks for People of Color Jul 13, Yahoo! Health

Lung Cancer Patients Who Quit Smoking Live Longer Jul 16, U.S. News & World Report

Glasses that make cancer glow Jul 15, FOX News

Mobile Mammography Unit Visits Springfield, VA

Monday, July 13th, 2015

Local “Mammovan” provides free screenings to an underserved population

July 13, 2015

Contact: Lisa Berry

WASHINGTON, D.C. — A mobile mammography unit dubbed the “Mammovan,” operated by the Medical Faculty Associates of George Washington University’s Breast Cancer Center, will be visiting Springfield, VA on Tuesday, July 14. This program, funded in part by the Prevent Cancer Foundation, has been providing women in the Washington, D.C., Maryland and Northern Virginia communities with mammography screenings since its inception in 1996. Funding to purchase the Mammovan in 1995 and a subsequent one in 2005 was provided by the Prevent Cancer Foundation.

The Prevent Cancer Foundation and the GW Breast Cancer Center are dedicated to increasing access to mammography services among minorities, the medically underserved and the uninsured. The program also ensures that those who receive abnormal results receive follow-up diagnoses and treatment, regardless of their ability to pay. In the past 18 years, the Mammovan has provided 40,000 screenings and has diagnosed 129 breast cancer cases.

“Annually, more than 230,000 women are diagnosed with invasive breast cancer,” said Carolyn Aldigé, President and Founder of the Prevent Cancer Foundation. “Changing this statistic starts with giving more women access to the preventive and early detection services that are essential to saving their lives.”

Please note: All screening appointments are currently filled. This event is not open to the public. Media will be allowed access with press credentials only.

WHAT: Mobile Mammography Unit

WHEN: Tuesday, July 14
9:30 am – 11:00 am

Screenings will take place all day. If you can’t make that time block, please contact Lisa Berry above.

WHERE: Springfield/Franconia Family Resource Center
7224 Commerce Street
Springfield, VA 22150


About the Prevent Cancer Foundation:
The mission of the Prevent Cancer Foundation is to save lives through cancer prevention and early detection. Founded in 1985, the Foundation has provided more than $137 million in support of cancer prevention and early detection research, education, advocacy and outreach nationwide. For more information, please visit

ICYMI: July 10, 2015

Monday, July 13th, 2015


Feature Story

Americans’ Risk of Dying From Cancer Is Falling, CDC Finds

THURSDAY, July 2, 2015 (U.S. News & World Report) — The risk that any one American will die from cancer — the cancer death rate — is going down, regardless of sex or race, a new government study reports.

However, because the United States has a growing aging population, the overall number of people dying from cancer is on the rise, officials from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported.

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Sensor chip could lead to more accurate prostate cancer diagnoses Jul 9, Medical News Today

The 3 hot spots in the U.S. with the highest colon cancer death rates Jul 8, The Washington Post

A Perfect Blood Test For Pancreatic Cancer? Jul 6, Forbes

Be Aware: Your Tattoos Could Cause False-Positive Results for Cancer Jul 5, Yahoo! Health

New Recommendations Could Limit Women’s Access to Life Saving Cancer Screenings

Thursday, July 9th, 2015

The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) released new guidelines for breast cancer screenings in April 2015. They’re recommendations suggest women don’t need to start getting mammograms until age 50. They further recommend women ages 50-74 receive mammograms once every two years. Currently, it’s recommended that women receive a mammogram every year after they turn 40. If Congress approves these guidelines, thousands of breast cancer cases could go undetected until late, less-treatable stages. When detected early, the five-year survival rate for breast cancer is 99%- early detection saves lives.

The Affordable Care Act requires insurance companies to cover procedures given a grade “B” or higher by the USPSTF. They gave mammograms a “C” grade and a “B” grade to biennial screenings for women 50-74. These new guidelines will force women to pay out of pocket for yearly mammograms which is particularly threatening to underserved and rural areas.

The Task Force also found the evidence regarding 3D mammography to be insufficient giving this form of screening an “I” grade. They dismissed hundreds of peer-reviewed publications that clearly and consistently show 3D mammography significantly increases the detection of invasive cancer while reducing false positive recall rates – both of which are key concerns about traditional mammograms raised by the Task Force. Insurance companies could have less incentive to cover the cost of a 3D mammogram, despite the fact that Medicare already pays for these important tests. You can review the proposed recommendations in more detail here.

This year, 30% of newly diagnosed cancer in women will be breast cancers. Unless Congress acts, women ages 40 – 49 could lose health insurance coverage without cost sharing for mammograms and be forced to cover costs themselves. To urge Congress to dismiss these draft recommendations, you can sign this petition.

We invite you to share this link with your colleagues and on social media channels including #preventcancer and #stoptheguidelines in your posts. Here are some sample posts.


How many cancers are we willing to miss? Sign a petition to protect women’s access to quality care and #mammograms


Of the approximately 40,000 women who die from breast cancer each year, up to 10,000 had cancer that potentially could have been diagnosed with screening mammography prior to the age of 50. Sign a petition to Congress urging it to block new proposed recommendations that could limit access to mammograms

Cancer Prevention Comes to Times Square

Wednesday, July 8th, 2015

July 8, 2015

Lisa Berry
(703) 519-2107

ALEXANDRIA, VA.—Residents and tourists of New York City can now see an important message flashing over the busy streets of Times Square this summer: when it comes to our health, cancer prevention is the new focus—and it is sexy.

“Be my bestie, check my testes,” proclaims the public service ad from the Prevent Cancer Foundation, featuring a provocative image of two men with their arms intertwined and baseballs covering one’s testicles. Another ad, featuring a man and a woman with two grapefruits, says “I want you at your best, let me check your chest.”

The ads, wrapping the corner of 43rd Street and Broadway, encourage partners to explore one another’s bodies in search of lumps or irregularities that may be an early sign of cancer.

A new ad will run every two weeks through September, each one providing viewers with reminders that prevention and early detection are not only possible, but are critical to our health. More than 1.6 million Americans will be diagnosed with cancer this year and more than 580,000 will die of these diseases. Yet, research shows that up to 50 percent of cancer cases and deaths are preventable with the knowledge that we have today.

“Many instances of cancer can be prevented through healthy lifestyle choices, immunizations and cancer screenings, or detected early when they are most treatable,” said Jan Bresch, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of the Prevent Cancer Foundation. “We are so grateful for the generosity of Neutron Media for making this partnership possible so that we can spread the prevention and early detection message in one of the most influential cities in the world.”


About The Prevent Cancer Foundation

Founded in 1985, the Prevent Cancer Foundation is the only U.S. nonprofit focused solely on cancer prevention and early detection. Since its inception, the Foundation has provided more than $138 million in support of cancer prevention and early detection research, education, advocacy and outreach programs across the country.

For more information, please visit