Recommit to the Fight Against Cancer

Recommit to the Fight Against Cancer

Mississippi Breast Cancer Survivors and Advocates Call on Congress to Maintain Commitment to Research Funding, Breast Health Care and Treatment Access

 Susan G. Komen® Advocates Stress Importance of Access to Cancer Screening, Ensuring Treatment Parity

Jackson, MS April 19, 2016 – Local breast cancer survivors and advocates representing Susan G. Komen Central Mississippi Steel Magnolias Affiliate traveled to the nation’s capital April 14, joining over a hundred breast cancer advocates from across the country to remind our nation’s leaders of the importance of federal cancer research funding and access to cancer screening programs — and to call on policy makers to ensure parity of insurance coverage between oral chemotherapy and traditional IV treatments.

“As the health care system continues to evolve, we cannot forget that many people continue to rely on vital safety net programs, such as the National Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection Program,” said Catherine Young, Executive Director. “We cannot step back from our commitment to ensuring access to quality breast cancer screening and treatment.”

While on Capitol Hill for the day, the Central Mississippi Steel Magnolias Affiliate delegation met with Rep. Greg Harper, Rep. Trent Kelly, Rep. Bennie Thompson, Rep. Steven Pallazo and joined other delegations from across Mississippi to meet with Senator Thad Cochran and Senator Roger Wicker.

They urged lawmakers to invest in biomedical research by increasing funding for the National Institutes of Health to $34.5 billion, including $5.9 billion for the National Cancer Institute, in FY2017.

In addition to research, the Komen representatives stressed the importance of maintaining the government’s commitment to vital safety-net programs, such as the National Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection Program. They also stressed the importance of ensuring parity between the way insurance covers oral chemotherapy, which often is governed by prescription drug benefit rules, and traditional IV treatments, which often have lower co-pays.

“Many new cancer drugs are out of reach for patients because of outdated insurance rules that class them as specialty drugs under their prescription drug benefits, requiring significant out-of-pocket costs for patients. Conversely, IV treatments fall under the patient’s medical benefits since they are administered at the hospital, and involve lower cost-sharing,” said Christy Moore, Central Mississippi Steel Magnolias board treasurer.  “Treatment decisions should be made by patients and their doctor based on what is the best medical option – not by which treatment protocol is less likely to bankrupt them based on insurance rules that haven’t kept pace with science.”

About Susan G. Komen®:

The Central Mississippi Steel Magnolias Affiliate of Susan G. Komen for the Cure® is proud to be part of the world’s largest and most progressive grassroots network of breast cancer survivors and activists fighting to save lives, empower people, ensure quality care for all and energize science to find the cures. Susan G. Komen for the Cure is the largest source of nonprofit funds dedicated to the fight against breast cancer in the world.

The Central Mississippi Steel Magnolias Affiliate of Susan G. Komen for the Cure serves fifty nine counties in the state of Mississippi. It was established in 1999 as an all volunteer organization and continues to be committed to:

  • Raising awareness of breast health issues
  • Educating our community on breast cancer statistics and Susan G. Komen for the Cure’s breast health recommendations
  • Raising funds to fund local education, screening and treatment grants, as well as research grants at the national level

Since the inception of the Central Mississippi Steel Magnolias Affiliate of Susan G. Komen for the Cure we have invested over $3.25 Million in breast health and breast cancer awareness programs in our 59 county service area in Mississippi and over $800,000 in research programs.

Up to 75 percent of net proceeds generated by the affiliate stays in our service area and are granted out to provide education and free screening mammograms for the uninsured and underinsured. 25 percent is dedicated to the National Komen Organization to fund cutting edge research to find the cures for breast cancer.

For more information about Susan G. Komen Central Mississippi Steel Magnolias, please visit www.komecentralms.org.