Wasserman Schultz, Survivors and Advocates Highlight Confusion around Breast Cancer Guidelines

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Washington, DC, October 22, 2015 | comments
With young women now facing three different recommendations from credible organizations on when they should begin annual mammography screening, there is understandable confusion about which set of guidelines to follow. While I'm not a scientist, I am a young breast cancer survivor, a mother and supporter of young women, and I encourage every young woman to be their own breast health advocate.
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Wasserman Schultz, Survivors and Advocates Highlight Confusion around Breast Cancer Guidelines

U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (FL-23) released the following statement after she joined breast cancer survivors and advocates to discuss the new American Cancer Society (ACS) guidelines released on Tuesday:

“With young women now facing three different recommendations from credible organizations on when they should begin annual mammography screening, there is understandable confusion about which set of guidelines to follow. While I’m not a scientist, I am a young breast cancer survivor, a mother and supporter of young women, and I encourage every young woman to be their own breast health advocate,” Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (FL-23) said.

“I urge Congress to take up the Protecting Access to Lifesaving Screenings (PALS) Act, which will place a two-year moratorium, a “time out” to allow for research to be done and consensus to be developed on these guidelines and their impact on young women everywhere. This legislation will ensure that young women are not overwhelmed by the confusion surrounding these guidelines.” 

Rep. Wasserman Schultz was diagnosed with breast cancer at age 41.

“YSC's long-standing belief has been that better tools are urgently needed to screen, diagnose, detect and monitor for breast cancer in younger women. There are no effective screening tools for women under 40. Young women must be as vigilant as possible about becoming familiar with their breast and aware of the signs and symptoms of breast cancer. Ultimately, we need a way to prevent breast cancers from occurring and spreading,” Jennifer Johnson, Senior Director of Mission Marketing & Communications, Young Survival Coalition, said. Jennifer is almost a 16-year survivor of breast cancer. She was diagnosed at age 27, while 22 weeks pregnant.

“Our concern with this latest set of guidelines is grounded in what we know about Black women and breast cancer. We know that Black women receive late stage diagnosis more frequently than other women, leading to higher mortality rates. We know that younger Black women under the age of 40 are being diagnosed with breast cancer at increasingly higher rates,” Linda Goler Blount, MPH, President and CEO of Black Women’s Health Imperative said.

“My life's work is to help women understand that importance of screening and the importance of having a conversation with their doctor,” Madeline Long-Gill, an advisor to the Susan G. Komen breast cancer organization as a Komen Advocate in Science, said. Gill was diagnosed with breast cancer at the age of 48. “We know that early detection saves lives,” she added.

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Click to view information about H.R. 3339, the Protecting Access to Lifesaving Screenings Act (PALS Act).

 

Contact:

Sean Bartlett, Sean.Bartlett@mail.house.gov, 202.225.7931

Geoff Burgan, Geoff.Burgan@mail.house.gov, 202.225.7931

 

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