West Chester, Pa (October 25, 2022) – Two pieces of legislation to help Pennsylvanians detect breast cancer earlier and eliminate out-of-pocket expenses for screenings unanimously passed the Pennsylvania Senate, Senator Carolyn Comitta said.
“Nearly 1 in 8 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in their lifetime and early detection is key. We must ensure that both traditional and emerging testing options are accessible and affordable for all Pennsylvanians,” Comitta, who serves on the Senate Health and Human Service Committee, said. “I was proud to join my legislative colleagues in advancing these measures to help enhance prevention and save lives.”
Senate Bill 1330, introduced by Senator Kim Ward, removes the costs associated with genetic testing and counseling for Pennsylvanians with a family history of breast and ovarian cancers. This legislation will help those with certain gene mutations such as BRCA1 or BRCA2, which result in an increased risk of developing breast cancer.
Senate Bill 1225, sponsored by Senator Bob Mensch, eliminates out-of-pocket costs for MRI and ultrasound breast screenings for women with high-risk conditions such as dense breast tissue, a family history of breast cancer, personal history of breast cancer, genetic predisposition or prior radiation therapy.
Both bills were reported to the House Insurance Committee.
“As our understanding of breast cancer risk factors and the role of genetics grows, we must continue to work to ensure that costs are not a barrier to testing and that all at-risk patients are better informed and fully empowered to monitor their own health,” Comitta said.
According to the Pennsylvania Breast Cancer Coalition over 13,000 women in Pennsylvania are diagnosed with breast cancer each year and, when detected in its earliest stage, the five-year survival rate is 98.6%.
Two Senate resolutions were also recently passed marking October 2022 as Breast Cancer Awareness Month and Friday, October 21, 2022, as Mammography in Pennsylvania.