Joining FORCES is the FORCE newsletter with news, views and supportive information for individuals concerned about hereditary breast and ovarian cancer.
by Lisa Schlager
The Education and Awareness Requires Learning Young (EARLY) Act introduced by Representative Debbie Wasserman Schultz was passed as part of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (a.k.a. healthcare reform) in March 2010.
The legislation directs the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to develop and implement a national education campaign about the threat breast cancer poses to young women, and the elevated risks of certain populations. Its goal is to increase knowledge of breast health and breast cancer among young women ages 15-44. The law also aims to provide support services to young cancer survivors and to educate healthcare professionals, helping them become more skilled at identifying the threats and warning signs of breast cancer in young women — ultimately leading to early diagnoses and saved lives. Representative Wasserman Schultz emphasizes that the purpose of this law is not to alarm people, but to educate and to empower young women so that we can reduce the number of fatalities from this horrific disease.
The federal Advisory Committee on Breast Cancer in Young Women met for the first time earlier this year. This 15-member panel with representatives from the medical and breast cancer communities will design the new programs. FORCE had an opportunity to provide input, and we will continue to monitor the panel's work to ensure that the concerns of the hereditary cancer community are adequately addressed.
Lisa Schlager, a former marketing executive, has been involved with FORCE since 2008. In addition to acting as Outreach Coordinator for our Washington, DC FORCE group, Lisa assists the national organization with advocacy and outreach efforts. She lives in Chevy Chase, MD with her husband and two children.