Etheridge wants “Early Detection Month”

Washington, D.C. -— U.S. Rep. Bob Etheridge, the only N.C. member of the House Ways and Means Committee, introduced legislation today which would establish May 2010, as ‘Early Detection Month’ for breast cancer and all forms of cancer.

“America has more than two million new cases of cancer diagnosed every year, and breast cancer takes the life of one woman every thirteen minutes,” said Etheridge. “By increasing public awareness of cancer screenings and early detection we can help save lives and take another vitally important step to truly reform health care in this country.”

Representative Etheridge introduced H. Res. 158 to support the creation of an Early Detection Month, beginning in May 2010, to enhance public awareness of screening for breast cancer and all forms of cancer. Early detection of cancer, before it requires expensive medical treatment, saves tens of thousands of lives annually, but also greatly reduces the financial strain on government and private health care services.

Each year, more than two million Americans are diagnosed with cancer and more than one quarter of these cases result in death from this tragic disease. Cancer survivors and their families know that early detection is critical to obtaining treatment to mitigate the effects of cancer and save lives.

Representative Etheridge is joined by Representative Debbie Wasserman Schultz (FL-20) as an original cosponsor of the bill. Representative Wasserman Schultz, herself a breast cancer survivor, has been a national leader in encouraging women to undertake self-exams on a regular basis.

“I found my cancer early because of knowledge and awareness,” said Representative Debbie Wasserman Schultz. “I knew that I should perform breast self-exams, and I was aware of what my body was supposed to feel like. We need to ensure that every woman in America can rely on more than luck because their survival depends on it.”