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Introduction of Legislation to Expand Access to Breast Cancer Treatment for Missourians

Susan G. Komen® Commends Bill Introduction; Urges Quick Passage

Susan G. Komen®, the world’s leading breast cancer organization, commends Representative Chantelle Nickson-Clark (D-Florissant) for working with Komen to expand eligibility for the MO HealthNet Breast and Cervical Cancer Treatment (BCCT) program, providing increased access to vital breast and cervical cancer treatment services.

The BCCT program provides breast and cervical cancer treatment services to eligible low-income, uninsured individuals in Missouri. Currently, an individual must have received their screening and diagnostic services through the Show Me Healthy Woman Program (SMHW) in order to be eligible to receive treatment through the BCCT program. This means that an individual receiving a breast or cervical cancer diagnosis from a non-SMHW affiliated provider, even if eligible for the BCCT program, would be forced to find alternative care or forego their treatment entirely.

HB 2875, introduced by Rep. Nickson-Clark, amends the eligibility criteria of the BCCT program to ensure that all eligible individuals would have access to vital treatment services, regardless of where they received their cancer screening and diagnosis.

“Timely access to high-quality treatment services can save lives but to be denied access to life saving services – simply because you walked through the “wrong door”- is a cruel fate,” said Molly Guthrie, Vice President of Policy & Advocacy at Susan G. Komen. “The financial burden of treatment should not be an additional concern for cancer patients, regardless of where their screening and diagnosis was received.”

In 2024 alone, nearly 6,000 people in Missouri will be diagnosed with breast cancer and more than 810 are expected to die of the disease. Expanding eligibility for the BCCT program will ensure the most vulnerable in our state can get the care they need without having to endure undue financial toxicity. This legislation will provide a critical step toward equitable access to care, potentially saving lives by facilitating earlier access to treatment services.

“As a two-time breast cancer survivor, I know how important it is that women have access to screening and treatment. I introduced HB 2875 so that eligible women in Missouri will have access to treatment regardless of where they were screened,” said Rep. Nickson-Clack. “This legislation will ensure that the Breast and Cervical Cancer Treatment Program will provide care for the most vulnerable in our state.”