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Delaware congressional delegation leads the way

April 19, 2022

Did you know that cancer is the leading cause of death in Delaware? This year, the American Cancer Society estimates approximately 7,000 new cases and more than 2,000 deaths of our friends, neighbors and family. The time is now to beat back the scourge and take active steps toward its defeat.

That is why our entire Delaware congressional delegation in Washington should be recognized for taking up the cause and supporting the Medicare Multi-Cancer Early Detection Screening Act. This bill, once passed, will help some of our most vulnerable citizens gain access to pathbreaking oncology care.

It’s no secret that early detection tests like pap smears and mammograms are important. The problem, however, is our existing technologies only allow us to screen for five of the more than 100 cancer types. This means seven out of 10 cancer deaths result from cancers we simply don’t have the ability to detect early on.

Fortunately, multi-cancer early detection technologies that screen for dozens of cancer types at once represent a transformation in the science. It is these very MCEDs that our Delaware representatives in Washington are fighting to make accessible to Medicare recipients as soon as they’re approved by the Food and Drug Administration.

This legislation is a great first step and is a natural companion of the Biden administration’s recent announcement of the revival of the Cancer Moonshot program. A few months ago, President Joe Biden caused a ripple in the oncology world by announcing he would reduce the cancer mortality rate by 50% over the next 25 years. Part of America’s effort to achieve this feat, Biden noted, will be “a call to action for cancer screening and early detection.”

“When we work together in America, there is nothing - nothing beyond our capacity,” Biden said. “Nothing. So, let’s show the world what’s possible. Let’s show the world that we’re committed.”

Our Delaware delegation has shown its commitment. We hope their colleagues on Capitol Hill also join in this life-saving cause.

Regina Alonzo
Interim CEO, Jewish Family Services
Janet Teixeria, MSS, LCSW
Executive director, Cancer Care Connections
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