Mr. Speaker, I rise today to announce that I am today introducing the Ovarian Cancer and Research Amendments of 2001. I am proud to be joined by 56 original co-sponsors and would like to invite the rest of my colleagues to join me in support of the bill.
Ovarian cancer is the most lethal cancer of the female reproductive system, primarily because it is so difficult to detect in its early stages. While survival rates are quite high if the disease is found before it spread beyond the ovaries, the five-year survival rate drops to 28% for women who are diagnosed and treated in the later stages of the disease. Only 25% of ovarian cancer cases are caught in the earliest stages.
The Ovarian Cancer and Research Amendments of 2001 have three components. First, it authorizes $150 million for ovarian cancer research: one- half to be spent on basic cancer research and one-half on clinical trials and treatment. The bill requires that priority be given to developing a test for the early detection of ovarian cancer; research to identify precursor lesions and to determine the manner in which benign conditions progress to malignant status; and research to determine the relationship between ovarian cancer and endometriosis. Moreover, the bill requires that appropriate counseling be provided to women participating in clinical trials. Second, the bill provides for a comprehensive education program to provide information to patients and the public on screening procedures, the genetic basis to ovarian cancer, factors that increase the risk of getting ovarian cancer; and any new treatments for ovarian cancer. Finally, it requires that the National Cancer Advisory Board include at least one individual who is at high risk of developing ovarian cancer. I hope all my colleagues will join me in supporting this worthy cause and help to give women a fighting chance against ovarian cancer.
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