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Breast cancer


More than 270,000 women are diagnosed with breast cancer each year and this disease annually takes the lives of about 42,000 Americans. Risk factors include obesity, genetic history and not birthing a child. Research has shown having children and nursing are important factors in reducing the chance of developing breast cancer, even more important than genetic factors. Early diagnosis and treatment have greatly improved breast cancer survivability and nearly 70% of American women over 40 have had a mammogram in the last two years. Consequently, the number of deaths from breast cancer have fallen by nearly 40% since 1990. This is due to increased awareness of this disease by women, early detection and better treatments and medications such as tamoxifen.

However, in 2009, the United States Preventive Services Task Force began recommending against women ages 40 to 49 getting a mammogram, saying the “harms” of screening - the discomfort of squeezing the breast, the anxiety associated with an abnormal result, the chance of a false positive result requiring additional exams, biopsy, and the chance of detecting a cancer that is not be life threatening - outweigh the benefit of lives saved. This decision led to individual and group (employer) insurance plans no longer covering annual mammography exams with no cost sharing for millions of women ages 40 to 49. Doctors strongly disagree and say early detection of this disease is very important since it gives patients the option of pursuing less invasive, less debilitating and less expensive treatments.

Pending Legislation: H.R.4612 - PALS Act
Sponsor: Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (FL)
Status: Referred to the Committee on Energy and Commerce, and in addition to the Committees on Ways and Means, and Veterans' Affairs, for a period to be subsequently determined by the Speaker, in each case for consideration of such provisions as fall within the jurisdiction of the committee concerned.
House Speaker: Speaker Nancy Pelosi (CA))












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Poll Opening Date
November 22, 2021
Poll Closing Date
November 28, 2021


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