The views stated here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of the editors of this newspaper. We welcome supporting or opposing views on any published item. Received October 27, 2021.
As a cancer survivor alive today because of early detection and a senior citizen, I’m excited about new technology to improve cancer early detection and save lives. Several companies are developing blood tests to detect multiple cancers early. Imagine being able to detect multiple cancers by a simple blood test.
These tests could be life-changing; but people have to be able to access them. That’s why I recently met with staff in Congressman Courtney’s office virtually to ask him to support the Medicare Multi-Cancer Early Detection Screening Coverage Act.
This legislation would create a pathway for Medicare to cover this technology immediately following FDA approval. It would ensure that Medicare recipients don’t face unacceptable delays in accessing these new tests once approved by the FDA. Medicare already covers early detection tests for common cancers, including breast, colorectal and prostate cancers. These new tests will complement, not replace, those already in existence. Since people on Medicare often have underlying conditions that might mask cancer symptoms, it is vitally important that people on Medicare have access to these new screening options.
As in my case, detecting cancer early could be the difference between life or death. Congressman Courtney can help save lives in Connecticut by supporting this legislation. Please contact his office and urge him to support it.