Bush signs breast and cervical cancer early detection bill
President Bush last week signed a bill that is designed to expand a successful program aimed at providing breast and cervical cancer screenings to low-income, uninsured and underinsured women. The bill, the National Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection Program Reauthorization Act of 2007 (S. 624/H.R. 1132), is administered by the CDC, and should provide a means for more states to offer the services to eligible women.

The law provides increased funding targets for the program from the original $202 million to $275 million for the coming five years. This should mean that an additional 130,000 women will have access to screening, according to data provided by the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN). Previously the program has only able to provide screenings for one in five women.

“Since its creation, the program has conducted nearly 7 million cancer screenings, it's diagnosed thousands of cases of breast and cervical cancer, and it's helped educate women about the importance of early detection,” President Bush said at a signing of the bill. “We expect that in 2007 this program will provide more than 700,000 screenings for low-income and uninsured women. The program is an important part of this nation's fight against cancer, and the bill I'm about to sign will continue this life-saving work.”

“My budget for 2008 includes another billion dollars for research and prevention activities. We'll continue to work to ensure that every American woman has access to the screenings she needs to detect the cancers in time to treat them,” Bush added.

ACS CAN President Daniel E. Smith said of the reauthorization that “everyone deserves a chance to beat cancer, regardless of their insurance or financial status. This valuable program provides medically underserved women with access to screenings that catch cancer at its earliest, most treatable stages and saves lives.”