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Public Statements

Johanna's Law: The Gynecologic Cancer Education And Awareness Act

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC


JOHANNA'S LAW: THE GYNECOLOGIC CANCER EDUCATION AND AWARENESS ACT -- (Extensions of Remarks - September 28, 2006)

SPEECH OF HON. BILL PASCRELL, JR. OF NEW JERSEY
IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 27, 2006

* Mr. PASCRELL. Mr. Speaker, I rise today to urge the House to take up and pass H.R. 1245, Johanna's Law: The Gynecologic Cancer Education and Awareness Act. This legislation has been cosponsored by 256 Members of the House of Representatives and 40 Senators.

* H.R. 1245, through an educational and awareness campaign, will help women understand the symptoms of uterine and other gynecological cancers, the importance of having an annual exam, and the need for open communication with their doctors in an attempt to save women from preventable deaths.

* Johanna's Law has the potential to help more than 80,000 women who will be diagnosed with some type of gynecological cancer this year. Beneficial to all women of various ethnicities and socioeconomic backgrounds, the legislation will inform them of preventative measures and help them understand the symptoms which can lead to early detection and subsequently, save lives.

* Of the women who will be diagnosed with gynecological cancer this year, 28,000 will die, primarily because they did not recognize their symptoms and the cancer detection came too late to treat the disease effectively.

* The 5-year survival rates for the most common gynecologic cancers are 90 percent when diagnosed early. Survival rates drop to 50 percent or less for cancers diagnosed later.

* Gynecologic cancers such as ovarian and endometrial cancer do not yet have a reliable screening test that can be used for the general population. The Pap smear reliably detects only cervical cancer. That's why knowing the symptoms of these cancers is key to early diagnosis.

* Sadly, recent surveys confirm most women are unaware of the risk factors and do not recognize the early symptoms of gynecologic cancers. This lack of information and understanding is deadly.

* September has been declared Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month by President Bush, and governors of all 50 States have also declared September Gynecologic Cancer Awareness Month. However, over one-third of the women diagnosed this year with a gynecologic cancer will die from the gynecologic cancer primarily due to a lack of early education and prevention, as well as effective screening.

* Data suggests that with even a modest improvement in outreach and education, we can save lives and precious healthcare resources, and improve the health of our Nation's women. This legislation will accomplish that--through education of both women and their health care providers.

* Mr. Speaker, there is clearly a need for Johanna's Law and the time is now. The women of this country and their families deserve no less.

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