On Oct. 2, my younger brother told me he has end stage cancer. We do not know how long he will live. New technology to improve cancer early detection and save lives is on our fingertips. Several companies are developing new blood tests to detect multiple cancers early that would complement existing early detection tests.

These tests could be life-changing, but only if people can access them. That’s the message I shared with Sen. Ron Wyden and my members of Congress during a virtual event with the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network. I asked them to support legislation to increase cancer screening and early detection in Medicare.

This bipartisan legislation would ensure that those on Medicare don’t face unacceptable delays in accessing these new tests once they are FDA approved, which is important since Medicare already covers early detection tests for breast, colorectal and prostate cancers. People on Medicare must have access to new screening options.

Detecting cancer early could be the difference between life or death. I’m grateful that Reps. Earl Blumenaurer and Kurt Schrader support these efforts, and I hope that Wyden will support this legislation too. It is time to discover cancer cures. It will be too late for my brother.

Please make it in time for our loved ones.

Karen Malcolm 

Pendleton

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