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California Breast Cancer Survivors and Advocates Call on State to Nix Screening Cuts
Date:12/10/2009

SACRAMENTO, Calif., Dec. 10 /PRNewswire/ -- Breast cancer survivors and advocates from all seven California Affiliates of Susan G. Komen for the Cure® signaled their alarm today at the recently announced cuts to California's Every Woman Counts program, which would effectively shut the doors to breast cancer screening services for 1.2 million low-income and uninsured women for the first six months of 2010.

Citing budgetary concerns, the state also announced that once they begin screening new patients this summer, only women age 50 and above will be eligible - significantly reducing the number of women in the state that will have access to affordable breast cancer screenings.

"We fully understand the tough economic situation our elected leaders face and the difficult choices they must make. Yet balancing the budget on the backs of our state's neediest women is a mistake. We should not deny women who have very few options and limited resources access to screening and treatment services that may save their life," said Donna R. Sanderson, Ed.D., Founder, California Collaborative of Susan G. Komen for the Cure.

Every Women Counts (EWC) is a joint program by the state Department of Public Health and the Center for Disease Control and Prevention's National Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection Program. Komen Affiliates noted that while 1.2 million women are eligible for EWC, the program only screens about 270,000 women a year, 77,000 of whom are under age 50.

The news about changes to EWC come on the heels of new mammography screening recommendations recently unveiled by the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force, which generated significant controversy and confusion for women. Some have interpreted the guidelines as a recommendation against mammography for women age 40 to 49. In fact, the task force actually intended to encourage women to talk with their providers and ass
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SOURCE Susan G. Komen for the Cure, San Diego
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