House panel supports Alting’s cervical, breast cancer treatment bill

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. — A House panel on public health today voted 8-0 in support of State Sen. Ron Alting’s (R-Lafayette) bill aiming to provide more low-income Hoosiers affordable treatment for cervical and breast cancer.

“Senate Bill 554 would allow more low-income and uninsured Hoosiers to receive financial assistance for these cancer treatments while, at the same time, make services more efficient,” Alting said.

Alting, co-author of the measure, said low-income and uninsured Hoosiers in need of cancer treatment are currently eligible for Medicaid only if they are screened through a federal program administered by the Indiana State Department of Health. Those who have not been screened through the federal program are not eligible for Medicaid, and not everyone has nearby access to facilities participating in the program.

According to Alting, many low-income and uninsured Hoosiers – already with very few options when in need of screening – live in 32 of Indiana’s 92 counties without breast and cervical cancer screening facilities participating in the federal program.

“In most cases, finding cancer early through screening and prompt treatment are keys in preventing breast and cervical cancer deaths,” Alting said. “It is very important for women over 40 to be screened every two years for breast cancer. Women who are sexually active should be screened every one to three years for cervical cancer. “

Breast cancer is the most frequently diagnosed cancer and the second leading cause of cancer deaths among women in the United States. Every year, breast cancer claims the lives of nearly 1,000 Hoosiers.

Statistics show death as a result of cervical cancer is on the rise and in Indiana, approximately 100 people die of cervical cancer every year, Alting said.

Sen. Alting represents Senate District 22, which includes a portion of Tippecanoe County.

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