Donatucci: House committee advances breast, cervical cancer screening bill

HARRISBURG, June 22 – State Rep. Maria Donatucci, D-Phila./Delaware, today announced her bill that would increase eligibility for breast and cervical cancer screenings in Pennsylvania was unanimously voted out of the House Health Committee.

House Bill 562 would amend the Pennsylvania Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Screening Act by allowing low-income, underinsured and uninsured women ages 30 to 65 to qualify for the screenings through the Department of Health’s HealthyWoman Program. Currently, only women ages 40 to 49 are eligible for the program.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates eight out of every 100,000 women are diagnosed with cervical cancer every year.

“About one in eight women will develop invasive breast cancer over the course of her lifetime and some will be diagnosed with it at a young age. Many of them win the battle due to early detection,” Donatucci said. “We must ensure every eligible woman in the commonwealth has access to these potentially life-saving screenings.”

According to Breastcancer.org, more than 40,000 women in the U.S. are expected to die this year from breast cancer, despite the decrease in death rates since 1989.

House Bill 562 will now go to the full House of Representatives for a vote.