“A diagnosis of breast cancer often comes with undue hardship for patients and their families,” said Molly Guthrie, Vice President of Policy and Advocacy at Susan G. Komen. “But we believe policymakers can act now to ease these undue hardships, by improving access to care, eliminating the financial toxicity of treatments and reducing the cost of the tests needed to help diagnose breast cancer.”
Eliminate a significant barrier to diagnosis: eliminate out-of-pocket costs for necessary diagnostic imaging
the Breast Cancer Diagnosis Access Act (HR5769/S.1067) is currently on hold on Capitol Hill and would eliminate out-of-pocket fees for diagnostic breast imaging. When an abnormality is detected in the breast, diagnostic imaging is needed to rule out breast cancer or confirm the need for a biopsy. These diagnostic tests can cost hundreds to thousands of dollars, out of pocket, making them prohibitively expensive.
Cynthia’s Story: Early Diagnosis Made All the Difference for Me
The day before my diagnostic mammogram, the breast center called me and asked $200remember Cynthia Johnson. Cynthia briefly considered canceling the date but decided to put the cost on her credit card, an expense she couldn’t have afforded a year earlier.
“I now know that if I had delayed my mammogram, my cancer would not have been caught early. It makes no sense to have free screenings and then pay a huge price for further investigation when it It’s a barrier for everyone, but especially women of color and women of lower socioeconomic status,” says Cynthia. “Early diagnosis made all the difference for me.”
Putting the needs of people with metastatic breast cancer first: eliminating ridiculous wait times for the care and financial support they need
the Metastatic Breast Cancer Care Access Act (HR3183/S.1312), enjoys bipartisan support in both the US House and Senate, but action is needed to move the legislation forward. The adoption would allow immediate access to needed benefits for people with metastatic breast cancer (MBC), the most advanced stage of breast cancer for which there is no cure. Currently, people with MBC must wait five months for Social Security disability insurance and an additional 24 months for Medicare benefits — a huge burden for anyone living with a terminal illness. It’s an expectation that many won’t survive because only 29% of people with MBC live five years after their diagnosis, and most of the nearly 44,000 breast cancer deaths this year will be due to MBC.
Janet’s Story: Everyone Deserves Access
Janet Ramsey62, is advocating for immediate access to Medicare and Social Security benefits because she was unable to work after her diagnosis at age 60. One of the drugs she needs costs $8,500 per month.
“I have no job and no insurance, so how do I pay for my life-saving medication? If I don’t take the medication, I will die. With my age, the statistics gave me a year to live. I am eligible for Medicare two years after my diagnosis,” says Janet.
Demand expanded access to essential breast health safety net services: Reauthorize the National Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection Program
Early detection and effective treatment save lives. The progress made over the past 40 years in saving more lives from breast cancer is partly due to early detection of breast cancers, when more treatment options are available and the prognosis is better. But you have to have access to screening to benefit from it.
the National Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection Program (NBCCEDP) helps low-income, uninsured and underinsured women access screening and diagnostic services for breast and cervical cancer. But the program needs to be reauthorized.
Since its inception in 1991, NBCCEDP has served more than 6 million women, detecting nearly 74,000 invasive breast cancers and more than 23,000 precancerous breast lesions. Legislation will soon be introduced that would reauthorize the critical program for another five years and provide greater flexibility to implement innovative evidence-based interventions and aggressive outreach to underserved communities through media, peer educators and community leaders. patient navigators.
Caitlin’s Story: We’ve Lost Too Much to Breast Cancer
Caitlin Uriarte is an aspiring public health professional and motivated volunteer who is passionate about ending breast cancer. She spends time educating others about the importance of screening and promoting healthy behaviors through programs.
“I know too many people who have lost someone to breast cancer,” says Caitlin. “I want to help fight breast cancer by improving access to care for those who really need it.”
Guthrie de Komen added, “Sensible policy changes could go a long way to helping detect breast cancer and minimizing the financial suffering of those affected. Congress must prioritize and adopt them without further delay.
Anyone interested in joining Komen’s efforts can contact their members of Congress today.
About Susan G. Komen®
Susan G. Komen® is the world’s leading non-profit breast cancer organization, working to save lives and eradicate breast cancer forever. Komen has an unparalleled, comprehensive 360-degree approach to fighting this disease on all fronts and supporting millions of people in the United States and countries around the world. We advocate for patients, drive breakthroughs in research, improve access to high-quality care, provide direct patient support, and empower people with trusted information. Founded by Nancy G. Brinker, who promised her sister, Susan G. Komen, that she would end the disease that claimed Suzy’s life, Komen remains committed to supporting those affected by breast cancer today, while tirelessly researching the remedies of tomorrow. Visit komen.org or call 1-877 GO KOMEN. Connect with us on social media at www.komen.org/contact-us/follow-us/.
SOURCESuzanne G. Komen