The EARLY Act
The breast cancer Education and Awareness Requires Learning Young Act is a major new policy initiative directed at increasing breast cancer awareness among young women. This is an important attempt to educate younger women about early detection, breast cancer risks, and the issues (e.g. fertility) that are especially painful and important for young women who have breast cancer.
Within the last 24 hours, I have received emails about this Act from the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation and from the Young Survival Coalition.
I am including a note from YSC's CEO, Marcia Stein. This is an important piece of legislation that deserves our full support. As it moves through Congress, there will be updates from YSC, and I will pass them along. You can also join the YSC email list and receive all bulletins directiy: email@example.com.
A Message From the CEO
This past Monday, I joined Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (FL) in Washington D.C. to announce the Breast Cancer Education andAwareness Requires Learning Young (EARLY) Act. Inspired by Rep. Wasserman Schultz's own experience as a young survivor (she was diagnosed at 41) last year, this piece of legislation is the first of its kind focusing on awareness of breast cancer in women under 40. The EARLY Act calls for $9 million a year from 2010 to 2014 to launch a national education campaign for this often overlooked group of women.
We are pleased to see Rep. Wasserman Schultz bringing together policymakers and key stakeholders to begin discussing how we can better serve young women with breast cancer. According to the Congresswoman's statement, The EARLY Act "seeks to educate young women on the risk factors for breast cancer, why certain populations are more likely to be at risk, and ways that young women can be proactive in lowering their risks. The legislation also seeks to help young women diagnosed with breast cancer deal with the issues unique to their fertility, and the social ramifications young women face."
This bill will enable funding and resources to teach both young women and medical professionals alike about risk factors, warning signs of breast cancer and predictive tools such as genetic testing that can help women make informed decisions about their health. Congresswoman Wasserman Schultz's brave revelation of her own experience has helped put a face to the unique issues and concerns we at Young Survival Coalition (YSC) encounter every day.
The EARLY Act will address these specific issues by:
- A national public awareness and education initiative targeting young women, especially those in at-risk populations;
- Health provider education to ensure health care professionals understand the risks facing young women and the specific concerns of young women who have been diagnosed with breast cancer; and
- Grant funding for support and assistance programs for young women diagnosed with breast cancer.
YSC has been working hand-in-hand with Rep. Wasserman Schultz on the content and wording of this important piece of legislation, which will soon be introduced into Congress with the help of Rep. Sue Myrick (NC) in the House and Sen. Amy Klobuchar (MN) in the Senate. We are part of an active group of breast cancer organizations who support this bill and look forward to shaping its development.
As the legislation makes its way through our congressional system, you can be sure YSC will keep you informed on important issues and calls to action. Meanwhile, know that we are working for you-the thousands of young women living with this disease as well as the young women who are yet to be diagnosed.
For more information on the EARLY Act, please see the following or write to us firstname.lastname@example.org:
Rep. Wasserman Schultz's EARLY Act Press Release
After Cancer, Lawmaker Urges Test, Washington Post, March 24, 2009
Rep. Wasserman Schulz on Good Morning America, March 23, 2009 (Story and video of appearance)
U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz Reveals Cancer Battle, Miami Herald, March 21, 2009
Young Survival Coalition