Susan G. Komen for the Cure®'s Moddelmog Calls for Congress to Launch Colossal Cancer Crusade
Cancer Survivor Paints Vision of World Where Cancer is Easily Detected and Treated
WASHINGTON, D.C. - May 8, 2008 - Hala Moddelmog, a 6-year cancer survivor and president and CEO of Susan G. Komen for the Cure®, testified today before a special hearing of the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions on the need for comprehensive legislation to address the nation's cancer crisis.
View Moddelmog's testimony
Moddelmog, who leads the world's largest breast cancer advocacy organization, challenged the Senators to unite behind the unique mandate of defeating cancer. The following are excerpts of her remarks as prepared for delivery:
Susan G. Komen for the Cure CEO Hala Moddelmog, with (l-r) Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison, Edward Benz, M.D., Lance Armstrong, and Senator Ted Kennedy.
"Past attempts by Congress to address cancer on a comprehensive basis have perhaps been thwarted by strategies that were overly focused on specific cancers. In speaking with my colleagues from a number of organizations, I'm proud that we are here today calling for action now to end for all time the ugly reality of this disease.
"In fact, early detection is the closest thing we have to a cure in many cancers today, so it is time to let nothing stand in the way of finding a cure, of discovering the critical biomarkers that might one day allow us to detect cancer in a person's body with a simple blood test.
"It is time to unleash the amazing powers of science, technology and medicine on finding radical new breakthroughs in early detection - earlier than anything we know or even imagine today. Imagine cancer detection so early that it can be fought with a simple injection. The truth is, the treatments we have today do not even reach all Americans, so as we unleash the science to find the cures, we also must close the gaps. We must make early detection and personalized treatments available to all.
"…cancer is an insidious enemy of the American people, but one we can defeat with the unwavering commitment and courage I know you will show in this colossal cancer crusade…cancer is not a partisan issue. Comprehensive cancer legislation that drives a colossal cancer crusade is precisely the kind of unique mandate that can, and must, be achieved without reference to the political calendar.
"As we discover new breakthroughs in early detection and treatments, we can claim an amazing victory over the scourge of cancer - and we can export that success as a demonstration of this country's willpower, achievement and values. Health diplomacy is enormously powerful. I have personally seen it in action around the world and have seen how transformative it can be.
"We do not deny nor do we forget the complexity of this disease - but complex, creative, and technologically-driven solutions have made this great country what it is today."
View an online copy of Moddelmog's additional testimony as submitted for the record