With about 30 days to go until Election Day, the Orange County Affiliate of Susan G. Komen for the Cure joined with breast cancer advocates all across the country today to challenge local candidates for the U.S. House, Senate and governor to promise to fight for the breast cancer rights of their constituents if elected. In issuing the challenge, the nation’s leading network of breast cancer survivors and activists unveiled a new Breast Cancer Bill of Rights that they promise to fight for. The Breast Cancer Bill of Rights can be found online at KomenAdvocacy.org.
The Breast Cancer Bill of Rights presents a clear agenda that informs the organization’s future advocacy efforts. For example, Komen’s Breast Cancer Bill of Rights declares that every woman has a right to access breast cancer screening tools that may save her life. Thanks to the new health care reform law, women age 40 and older who are enrolled in either Medicare or health plans issued after September 23, 2010, have access to an annual screening mammogram — with no additional cost for the patient. Yet there is still much work to do.
- This benefit is not guaranteed to women in health plans established prior to September 23.
- For at least the next several years, underserved women will continue to rely on a patchwork of state-based safety net programs that are threatened by budget cuts due to the struggling economy.
- And while mammography is currently the best screening tool currently available, it is far from perfect and it is not effective for some women, particularly women with dense breast tissue. As such, Komen will continue to press for the development of better technologies and for access to additional screening tools as needed.
“It’s not acceptable when any woman is denied screening that may save her life, or has to worry about anything other than survival,” said Lisa Wolter, executive director of the Komen Orange County Affiliate. “We will not stop fighting until these rights are extended to all women and are enshrined in law. That’s our promise. Now, for those who want to represent us, we want to know: What will you promise?”
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