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House Committee Advances SCREENS For Cancer Act That Will Make Breast Health Services More Accessible

Susan G. Komen® Urges Quick Passage So Millions Can Get the Care They Need

Susan G. Komen®, the world’s leading breast cancer organization, today commended members of the U.S. House Energy and Commerce Health Subcommittee for passing the Screening for Communities to Receive Early and Equitable Needed Services (SCREENS) for Cancer Act, an important step in the legislation becoming law.  Approved by the U.S. Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions in December 2023, the legislation awaits approval by the full U.S. Senate and House, along with President Joe Biden’s signature, to become law.

The SCREENS for Cancer Act reauthorizes a critical program — the National Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection Program (NBCCEDP) — that provides access to breast and cervical cancer screening, diagnostic and treatment services for low-income, uninsured or underinsured people in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, 2 U.S. territories, 5 U.S.-Affiliated Pacific Islands, and 13 tribes or tribal organizations.

Since its founding in 1991, NBCCEDP-funded programs have served more than 6.2 million individuals across the country and provided more than 16.1 million breast and cervical cancer screening examinations, resulting in the diagnosis of nearly 78,000 invasive breast cancers and more than 5,200 invasive cervical cancers. The program also provides public education, outreach, patient navigation and care coordination to increase breast and cervical cancer screening rates and reach underserved, vulnerable populations.

“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 Energy and Commerce Health Subcommittee advanced the SCREENS for Cancer Act, expanding the reach of the program and  – ensuring services are available to the people who need them, when and where they need them.”

Once signed into law, The SCREENS for Cancer Act, will preserve access to this vital public health infrastructure and allow greater flexibility to NBCCEDP grantees, allowing for more emphasis on implementing innovative, evidence-based interventions and aggressive outreach through media, peer educators and patient navigators, with the goal of reaching individuals who are rarely screened for cancer by creating deeper connections into communities.

 “Komen is proud to partner with distinguished Congressional champions to recommit to early detection and diagnosis and modernize a program with a long legacy of saving lives,” said Guthrie. “We look forward to building on this momentum and seeing the SCREENS for Cancer Act becoming law as soon as possible.”

The bicameral, bipartisan legislation is led by Representatives Joseph Morelle (D-NY-25) and Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA-01) as well as Senators Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), Susan Collins (R-ME), Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV), Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV), and Amy Klobuchar (D-MN).