WASHINGTON, D.C. – March 26, 2009 – The Susan G. Komen for the Cure® Advocacy Alliance applauds the bipartisan efforts of Senators Edward Kennedy (D-MA) and Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-TX) to reignite the war on cancer with the introduction today of the 21st Century Cancer ALERT (Access to Life-saving Early Detection, Research and Treatment) Act.
“It’s been more than 35 years since our nation first declared war on cancer, and yet we are still facing a significant cancer crisis,” said Ambassador Nancy G. Brinker, founder of Susan G. Komen for the Cure. “This bill is a key first step towards reigniting the war on cancer. We are especially pleased that this is a bipartisan effort, as cancer doesn’t care what party you belong to. We must all work together and let nothing stand in the way of discovering and delivering the cures to cancer.”
ALERT stands for Access to Life-saving Early Detection, Research and Treatment:
- Early Detection — The ALERT Act will place an emphasis on early detection and promote the discovery and development of biomarkers to detect cancers at the earliest possible stage when cancer is most treatable. The bill also has a particular focus on childhood, rare and high-mortality cancers.
- Research — The ALERT Act will strengthen the cancer research process by promoting public-private partnerships and collaboration between government agencies. The bill also has a focus on translational research so new discoveries and breakthroughs in the laboratory make their way to patients’ bedsides as quickly as possible.
- Treatment — The ALERT Act will improve access to cancer care for underserved populations by expanding access to clinical trials, patient navigation services, and screening and treatment for colorectal cancer.
The Komen Advocacy Alliance noted that 40 percent of Americans will be diagnosed with cancer at some point in their lives, including approximately 1.4 million new cases this year alone. Cancer will claim the lives of more than a half million people this year – about 1,500 people a day.
“While the statistics are staggering, the stories behind these numbers are tragic, and should compel us into action,” said Brinker. “It’s time to unleash the amazing power of science, technology and medicine to discover new ways to detect cancer of any type as early as possible – earlier than we can currently imagine. As we do, we must also ensure that everyone has access to the screening and treatment options that exist today.”
The Susan G. Komen for the Cure® Advocacy Alliance (KAA) is the nonpartisan voice for over 2.5 million breast cancer survivors and the people who love them. Our mission is to translate the Susan G. Komen for the Cure® promise to end breast cancer forever into action at all levels of government to discover and deliver the cures.