by Zofia Reyes
Governor Greg Abbott recently passed a bill that is geared toward getting more Texans tested for colorectal cancer – an effort that is expected to save thousands of lives.
Senate Bill 1028 was passed by Abbott on June 4, and was created in order to provide accessible and affordable colorectal cancer testing for Texans ages 45 and up. Organizations such as Fight Colorectal Cancer (Fight CRC) and the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN) have been advocating for this bill as they seek to decrease the number of deaths from colorectal cancer.
“If Texans received regular screenings for colorectal cancer, thousands of future deaths could be prevented,” said James Gray, the Texas Senior Director of Government Relations for ACS CAN.
It is predicted that 11,000 Texans will be diagnosed with colorectal cancer this year, and that about 4,000 of them will not survive. By increasing screenings, advocates hope this number will decrease.
“Colorectal cancer is one of the few cancers that can be prevented if caught early,” said Anjee Davis, president of Fight CRC. “…it is more important now than ever that we remove barriers and increase access to this life saving screening.”
Setting the age for testing at 45 increases the chances of catching colorectal cancer, as the usual age for testing begins at 50. In recent years, the rate of colorectal cancer in adults younger than 50 has increased, showing a need for testing at a younger age, granted by this bill.