Three months ago we sent out a reminder that the PALS Act moratorium on the USPSTF breast cancer screening guidelines would be expiring at the end of this calendar year 2018 (December 31, 2018). Since then BWHI has worked with Congressional Appropriators, and we are pleased to tell you that the Omnibus Appropriations agreement for FY2018 (which was passed and signed into law on Friday, March 23, 2018, included a one year extension of the PALS Act.
This means that breast cancer screening starting at age 40 is protected through December 31, 2019. Representatives Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Florida) and Rosa DeLauro (D-Connecticut) deserve our thanks for their leadership on this issue. Here is a link to the PALS Act if you want to know more about the full details and what is being discussed in Congress, leading up to the passage of the legislation.
There is So Much at Stake for Black Women
Did you know that…
- More than 25 percent of all breast cancers in Black women occur before the age of 50 and 15 percent occur before the age of 45.
- Not only do Black women tend to get breast cancer younger, we also tend to get a more aggressive form of breast cancer, which makes early detection even more critical.
- If the age of screening mammography is raised to 50, another 1,400 to 1,600 Black women will die from breast cancer each year.
- Black women die 42 percent more from breast cancer than white women. But the science is clear. If Black women get their breast cancers detected early and get the same treatment as white women, our outcomes are exactly the same.
- The higher death rates among Black women is due to lack of access to early detection and quality treatment.
It Hits Close to Home
The chances are great that you have lost someone to breast cancer. In fact, you may be a survivor yourself. We need your help. We are gearing up to move the agreement beyond the extension. I am asking you to please donate now to help BWHI fight to make sure that Black women continue to receive life-saving screening without the barrier of cost-sharing.
The thousands of Black mothers, daughters, wives and sister-friends who’s lives depend on it, will thank you.