Congressman Leonard Boswell (IA-3) today announced he has reintroduced the Armed Forces Breast Cancer Research Act (H.R. 4869), a measure that would require the Secretary of Defense and Secretary of Veterans Affairs to collaboratively study the breast cancer incidence rate among service members and veterans.
"It is a well-documented fact that one of the highest forms of cancer among our service members and veterans is breast cancer. I am reintroducing this legislation -- which previously passed the House with strong bipartisan support -- to dig deeper in order to discover whether there is a service-related cause for the alarming rate of those members who are diagnosed," Boswell said. "Just as I fought for increased mental health services to help our current and former servicemen and women with PTSD and suicide issues through the Joshua Omvig Suicide Prevention Bill, I will fight for this important legislation too."
The bill would require a joint study be conducted by the Secretary of Defense and Veterans Affairs to address: (1) the number of service members and veterans who have been diagnosed with breast cancer; (2) demographic information regarding such members and veterans; (3) possible risk factors related to their service; and (4) the breast cancer treatments that these men and women received. The study would have to be reported to Congress no later than 18 months after this legislation was enacted.
If the joint study indicates that service members are being diagnosed with breast cancer as a result of their military service, Congressman Boswell will work with the VA to classify breast cancer as a service-connected disability in order for these men and women to receive the necessary VA benefits to treat and cope with the disease.