Advocates: Fund Breast Cancer Screening

By: The News Service of Florida
By: The News Service of Florida

The American Cancer Society and other advocates called Wednesday, Feb. 17 for the lawmakers to spend $1.2 million in the coming fiscal year to match federal money that goes to increase breast cancer screening for low-income women. The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention pays $4.9 million for Florida’s Breast Cancer and Cervical Cancer Early Detection Program, which provides breast and cervical cancer screenings, such as clinical breast exams, mammograms and Pap smears, for under- and uninsured women between the ages of 50 to 64. Advocates said Wednesday that they’d like Florida to provide a dollar for dollar match to that to get it to just under $5 million from the state by 2013 in an effort to expand screening, starting with $1.2 million this year. The program, created by the Mary Brogan Act in 2001, currently only serves about 8 percent of eligible at-need women, leaving roughly 119,000 women who could be screened with more money, a coalition of advocates led by the Cancer Society said. “Mammography is the single most effective method in detecting breast cancer early,” said Arnold Altman, chairman of the board and president of the American Cancer Society’s Florida Division. “By increasing the reach of the Mary Brogan program, more lives will be saved in Florida as a result of better access to crucial cancer screenings, diagnosis and treatment programs for women.”

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