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Introduction of the Ovarian Cancer Biomarker Research act of 2007

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC

INTRODUCTION OF THE OVARIAN CANCER BIOMARKER RESEARCH ACT OF 2007 -- (Extensions of Remarks - September 28, 2007)

* Mr. HALL of Texas. Madam Speaker, I rise today to proudly present the Ovarian Cancer Biomarker Research Act of 2007, along with my friend and colleague, Representative HOWARD L. BERMAN.

* Detecting this cancer early is the key to preventing deaths from this disease. In cases where ovarian cancer detection happens before it has spread beyond the ovaries, more than 93 percent of women survive longer than five years. When diagnosed in the advanced stages, the chance of five-year survival drops to about 30 percent. Currently, early stage diagnosis occurs in only 20 percent of ovarian cancer cases in the U.S. Ovarian cancer mortality could be reduced dramatically if a majority of the women affected with ovarian cancer were diagnosed at an early stage. Unfortunately, there is no widely accepted or effective screening test for ovarian cancer currently available and it is difficult to diagnose because symptoms are easily confused with other diseases.

* The Ovarian Cancer Biomarker Research Act of 2007 would authorize the National Cancer Institute to make grants to public or nonprofit entities to establish research centers focused on ovarian cancer biomarkers. Biomarkers are biochemical features within the body that may be used to determine the presence and extent of and/or predict response to therapy and ultimate prognosis. This Act also establishes a national clinical trial that will enroll at-risk women in a study to determine the clinical utility of using these validated ovarian cancer biomarkers.

* A former staff member of mine, Grace Warren, was diagnosed with ovarian cancer a few years ago. She has been a champion for this cause--I draw strength from her strength and faith from her faith on how she lives with and battles with this disease everyday. We must continue to raise awareness of the symptoms. Women with common symptoms such as abdominal pressure, nausea, indigestion, unusual fatigue, and unexplained weight gain or loss should not ignore these warning signs. For Grace and all the other women who fight this disease, I say to you that I will keep fighting, too, until we find a cure.

* We encourage you to join with us, the Society of Gynecologic Oncologists (SGO), the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), the Ovarian Cancer National Alliance, and the American College of Surgeons (ACS) in supporting the Ovarian Cancer Biomarker Research Act of 2007.

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