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Bono and Solis Introduce Childhood Cancer Survivorship Bill

Press Release

Location: Washington, DC


Improves Research and Access to Care for Youth Cancer Survivors

In an effort to improve the long-term health and well-being of childhood cancer survivors, Congresswoman Mary Bono (R-CA-45), together with Rep. Hilda L. Solis (D-CA-32), today introduced the Pediatric, Adolescent and Young Adult Cancer Survivorship and Quality of Life Act. This bipartisan legislation would improve and expand the delivery of medical and psychosocial care to survivors of childhood cancer.

"Surviving cancer is an ongoing process that goes far beyond being declared ‘cancer free'," said Bono. "Cancer treatment for all ages often has serious residual effects, including significant emotional and physical challenges such as learning disabilities, growth impairments, hearing and vision loss and even second cancers. Continual follow-up care is critical, especially for young survivors. I am pleased to join with my colleague, Congresswoman Hilda Solis, in introducing this important legislation that will address these challenges for an often overlooked population of brave survivors - our children."

Nearly 20,000 children under the age of 21 receive a diagnosis of cancer each year in the United States. The successful treatment of childhood cancer has resulted in more than 270,000 childhood cancer survivors, and that number is expected to grow drastically in the next decade. However, according to the Institute of Medicine (IOM), more than two-thirds of childhood cancer survivors experience "late effects" of the disease or its treatment. These late effects include complications, disabilities, or adverse outcomes and can significantly impair survivors' health and quality of life.

"A diagnosis of cancer is only the beginning of a life-long battle for a child with cancer," said Solis. "Even after receiving treatment, childhood cancer survivors, especially children from communities of color and other underserved communities, face tremendous health challenges and continue to fight for the ability to live a long, healthy, and happy life. I am proud that this legislation will improve access to medical and psychosocial care for childhood cancer survivors."

The Pediatric, Adolescent and Young Adult Cancer Survivorship and Quality of Life Act adheres to the IOM's recommendations to enhance health care delivery and follow-up care, increase education and training for health care providers, and expand research to improve the lives of childhood cancer survivors.

Key provisions of the Pediatric, Adolescent and Young Adult Cancer Survivorship and Quality of Life Act would:

* Expand cancer control programs, including surveillance programs and comprehensive control programs of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, to improve the health status of childhood cancer survivors;
* Establish grants at the National Institutes of Health to conduct research on disparities in survivorship, train health professionals in the delivery of follow-up care to childhood cancer survivors, and develop model systems of monitoring and caring for cancer survivors;
* Create grants to establish and operate childhood survivorship clinics for comprehensive long-term follow up services for childhood cancer survivors; and,
* Establish grants to childhood cancer organizations to improve physical and psychosocial care for childhood cancer survivors.

The Pediatric, Adolescent and Young Adult Cancer Survivorship and Quality of Life Act is supported by the Lance Armstrong Foundation, PADRES Contra El Cáncer, Children's Cause for Cancer Advocacy, and the City of Hope National Medical Center.

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