U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Fla., is working with a Republican congresswoman to increase funds and reauthorize a breast cancer education program.
Last week, Wasserman Schultz, a breast cancer survivor, teamed with U.S. Rep. Susan Brooks, R-Ind., to bring out a proposal to add more funds and reauthorize the Breast Cancer Education and Awareness Requires Learning Young (EARLY) Act which was first passed in 2010. So far in 2019, more than 331,500 new cases of breast cancer have been diagnosed in the U.S.
The EARLY Act has led an education and outreach campaign run by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) focusing on the risks young women and women of certain ethnic or racial backgrounds face from breast cancer.
“Reauthorizing the EARLY Act means that we will continue the vital work of educating young and higher risk women about their breast health and direct their attention to this deadly disease. We must continue supporting initiatives that help identify high-risk women, collect family histories and educate doctors,” said Wasserman Schultz on Friday.
“Congresswoman Brooks and I are committed to helping high risk and young women acquire the knowledge and resources they need to not just survive, but thrive,” she added.
“One in eight women in the United States will be diagnosed with breast cancer over their lifetime and 5,820 Hoosier women are expected to be diagnosed with this devastating disease in 2019,” said Brooks. “It is important to reauthorize the EARLY Act because it shines a necessary spotlight on the threats posed by breast cancer to young women. I’m proud to lead this bill with my friend and cancer survivor Congresswoman Wasserman Schultz because it seeks to educate health care professionals and the public about the importance of young women’s breast health and supports research that will help end breast cancer once and for all.”
“When I was diagnosed with breast cancer at a young age, I was familiar with how my breasts normally felt, so I knew when something felt different and knew I needed to go to the doctor when I felt an unusual lump,” Wasserman Schultz said. “This bill provides younger women with those tools to ensure better understanding of their breast health.”
Wasserman Schultz’s proposal is supported by the American College of Radiology, Breast Friends, Bright Pink, FORCE: Facing Our Risk of Cancer Empowered, Living Beyond Breast Cancer, the Moffitt Cancer Center, the National Black Nurses Association, the National Consortium of Breast Centers, the National Hispanic Medical Association, Oncology Nursing Society, Prevent Cancer Foundation, Sharsheret, Susan G. Komen and Tigerlily Foundation.
The bill was sent to the U.S. House Energy and Commerce Committee last week. So far, there is no counterpart over in the U.S. Senate.