Bipartisan bill – introduced today in both the Senate and House – would extend the EARLY Act, which created an education and outreach campaign administered by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to highlight the breast cancer risks facing young women and empower young women with the tools they need to fight this disease
Every year, more than 26,000 women under the age of 45 are diagnosed with breast cancer
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senators Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and David Vitter (R-LA) and Representatives Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL) and Renee Ellmers (R-NC) today introduced bipartisan legislation to increase breast cancer awareness among young women across the country. The bipartisan bill – introduced today in both the Senate and House – would extend the EARLY Act (Breast Health Education and Awareness Requires Learning Young Act), which created an education and outreach campaign administered by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to highlight the breast cancer risks facing young women and empower young women with the tools they need to fight this disease. Every year, more than 26,000 women under the age of 45 are diagnosed with breast cancer.
“Breast cancer is the leading cause of cancer deaths among women under the age of 45,” Klobuchar said. “The statistics are staggering, but it’s the stories of real women who’ve woken up one day only to learn that their lives have changed forever that are truly heartbreaking. This important legislation will help improve breast cancer awareness and ensure that women – especially young women – have access to the best information and support available to protect themselves against this disease.”
“My wife Wendy tragically lost her mother to breast cancer when she was just 6. Her loss serves as a continual reminder to our family, including our three daughters, of how important it is to raise awareness about breast cancer and increasing resources to fight the disease. Elevating breast cancer prevention and early detection, increasing research, and expanding access to care will all help combat this disease that affects all of us,” said Vitter.
“Too many women and health practitioners believe breast cancer is not something that happens to younger women, but the hard truth is that more 26,000 women under age 45 are diagnosed with this deadly disease each year. I was one of them,” said Rep. Wasserman Schultz, who was diagnosed with breast cancer at age 41 and after seven surgeries is now six years cancer-free. “I knew that once I recovered I had to make it one of my professional and personal priorities to do all that I could to help other young and higher-risk women know their risks and get the resources and support necessary to fight this disease. I thank my colleagues Congresswoman Ellmers and Senators Klobuchar and Vitter for joining me in this effort to save more lives.”
"Over the past two decades, we have made tremendous strides in the battle against breast cancer, and thousands of lives have been saved due to new treatments, care and preventative screening. But this fight is not over and we need to continue our efforts to help all women - young and old - so they can protect themselves and identify the risks associated with this devastating disease,” said Ellmers. “I'm proud to join my colleagues Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Amy Klobuchar, and David Vitter as an original co-sponsor of this reauthorization and look forward to it quickly moving through the legislative process."
Over the last four years the CDC has already accomplished a number of objectives through the EARLY Act: identifying where the gaps exist in education and awareness among young women and health care providers about breast health; supporting young survivors through grants to organizations focused on helping these survivors cope with the many unique challenges they face, including fertility preservation, and long-term survivorship challenges; and implementing a targeted media campaign, including through innovative social media efforts, to reach women at the highest risks, including those at risk for cancers caused by genetic mutations.