July 12, 2006  


Granger Introduces Bill Authorizing Funding Colorectal Cancer Screenings


WASHINGTON, D.C.—Congresswoman Kay Granger (R-Fort Worth) today introduced the Colorectal Cancer Early Detection, Prevention, and Treatment Act which would provide funding for colorectal cancer screenings specifically geared toward lower income and uninsured individuals. If passed, the bill would authorize Congress to direct $50 million for fiscal year 2007, and additional funds necessary for future fiscal years, to state and local health centers and agencies for screenings and referrals for treatment. Similar funds are currently being directed for other types of cancer screenings for lower income people such as breast and cervical cancer.  
“As a nation, we need to invest more in preventative care, which is a crucial part of good healthcare,” said Congresswoman Kay Granger. “By investing in screenings and early detection for colorectal cancer, 30,000 to 44,000 lives a year could be saved if everyone over 50 got screened.With odds like these, there is no reason to keep these barriers preventing people from being healthy in place.”
Colorectal cancer is the third most commonly diagnosed cancer and the second most common cause of cancer death in the United States. In 2006, an estimated 148,610 new cases will be diagnosed and an estimated 55,170 deaths will be caused by colorectal cancer. The real tragedy is that many of these cancer cases and cancer deaths occur needlessly, as they could be prevented if more people took advantage of colorectal cancer screening.
When colorectal cancer is diagnosed at the localized stage, the five year survival rate is 90 percent. However, when cancer is not diagnosed until the distant stage, the five year survival rate is only 10 percent. Furthermore, the disease can even be prevented through the early identification and removal of pre-cancerous polyps, detectable only through colorectal cancer screenings. Of the 55,170 people expected to die of colorectal cancer in 2006, 50 to 80 percent could be saved if they were tested.
Colorectal cancer screening, treatment and outreach programs need to be developed to address the access and treatment disparities experienced by the uninsured and under-insured. It is time that all states rise to the challenge of establishing these life saving colorectal cancer screening and treatment programs to beat back one of the most easily preventable cancers.
Colorectal Cancer Early Detection, Prevention, and Treatment Act:
  • Establishes demonstration projects to provide screenings for colorectal cancer. 
  • Screening services are targeted toward individuals between 50 - 64 years of age (the pre-Medicare population), or those under 50 years old but with high risk of such cancer. 
  • Low-income and uninsured individuals who would not otherwise have coverage for colorectal cancer screening, diagnostic follow up, and/or treatment will be given priority.
  • Provides case management and referrals for medical treatment of screened individuals. 
  • Ensures the full continuum of cancer care for individuals screened, including the appropriate follow-up for abnormal tests, diagnostic and therapeutic services, and treatment for detected cancers. 
  • Provides education and training for health professionals in the detection of colorectal cancer. 
  • Develops and disseminates findings and outcomes data in order to evaluate the program for cost, effectiveness and reach, which will inform future community screening and treatment efforts.
Granger is joined by Rep. Albert Wynn (D-MA) in introducing this legislation.
Granger serves on the Appropriations Committee and the Defense Appropriations and Labor, Health and Human Services and Education Subcommittees. She also serves as a Deputy Majority Whip. Granger is the first and only female Republican to serve in the Texas House delegation. Granger represents the 12th District of Texas and is currently serving her fifth term in Congress.