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TOPEKA, Kan., Feb. 20, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — Susan G. Komen®, the World’s Leading Breast Cancer Organization, Commends Senator Dinah Sykes (D-Lenexa) and House Committee on Health and Services humans for working with Komen to introduce legislation that removes financial barriers to imaging that can rule out breast cancer or confirm the need for a biopsy. In 2023, more than 2,470 people will be diagnosed with breast cancer and more than 370 will die from the disease in Kansas alone.
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“This legislation can have an immediate impact for thousands of people who require diagnostic or supplemental breast imaging but can’t afford it and often forgo testing,” said Molly Guthrie, vice president of policy and defense at Susan G. Komen. “Everyone should be able to access and afford the care they need, especially when it could mean the difference between life and death for a person.”
SB 161, introduced by Senator Sykes, and HB 2287 would eliminate out-of-pocket costs for diagnostic and supplemental breast imaging (such as an MRI, ultrasound, diagnostic mammography) when medically needed. These exams can be extremely expensive and require people to pay large out-of-pocket expenses, all before more expensive treatment even begins.
A study commissioned by Komen found patient costs ranging from $234 for a diagnostic mammogram to over $1,021 for a breast MRI. The cost of the test prevents people in Kansas from getting the imaging they need, making it difficult to detect breast cancer as early as possible.
“This legislation would improve access and lead to more Kansan citizens using the services available to ensure they get the care they need when they need it. These tests not only provide peace of mind for patients, they save lives by taking the cancer sooner rather than later and ensure that breast cancer survivors are screened regularly and appropriately,” Senator Sykes said. “This leads to better health outcomes and lower costs for patients and their families.”
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An estimated 16 percent of people who receive annual screening mammograms nationwide are recalled for diagnostic imaging. Additionally, these tests are often recommended for those previously diagnosed with breast cancer and some individuals considered to be at high risk for breast cancer, making their out-of-pocket expenses particularly burdensome for those individuals.
The use of breast cancer screening and follow-up diagnostics has led to a significant increase in early detection of breast cancer over the past 30 years. However, this is not true for all demographics. Evidence shows that black and Hispanic patients with breast cancer tend to be diagnosed at a later stage, possibly due to delays in follow-up imaging after abnormal findings on an annual mammogram.
More diagnostic and additional breast imaging will likely be needed due to “missed” breast cancers during the COVID-19 pandemic. Experts warn that missed mammograms could lead to more advanced diagnoses of breast cancer, once detected, so increasing access to affordable tests to those in medical need is of paramount importance.
About Susan G. Komen®
Susan G. Komen® is the world’s leading non-profit breast cancer organization, working to save lives and end breast cancer forever. Komen has an unmatched 360-degree approach to fighting this disease on all fronts and supporting millions of people in the United States and countries around the world. We advocate for patients, drive advances in research, improve access to high-quality care, offer direct patient support, and empower people with reliable information. Founded by Nancy G. Brinker, who promised her sister, Susan G. Komen, that she would end the illness that claimed Suzy’s death, Komen remains committed to supporting those affected by breast cancer today, as she seeks tirelessly care for tomorrow. Visit komen.org or call 1-877 GO KOMEN. Connect with us on social media at www.komen.org/contact-us/follow-us/.
Cristobal MartinezSusan G. KomenPhone: 972-701-2135Email: [email protected]
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SOURCE Susan G. Komen for the cure