Senate Joins House in Introducing Legislation to Protect Access to Mammograms

August 7, 2015

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 7, 2015

CONTACT:
Lisa Berry
Lisa.Berry@preventcancer.org
703-519-2107

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 http://bit.ly/stoptheguidelines 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.

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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 www.preventcancer.org.

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