Lifton’s Bill Would Fund Community Groups Helping Breast Cancer Patients

National Cancer Institute estimates 13.4 percent of women born today will be diagnosed with breast cancer
February 8, 2005

Assemblywoman Barbara Lifton (D-Tompkins/Cortland) announced legislation she authored passed the Assembly Health Committee to fund community-based groups that provide counseling, education and outreach services to persons with breast cancer (A.2069). Funding for the program would be provided through the Breast Cancer Detection and Education Advisory Council.

"My legislation will allow community-based groups to provide support and education to individuals who have been diagnosed with breast cancer," said Lifton. "If this helps save one life, one mother, daughter, sister or friend – it will have been a success."

Lifton noted that breast cancer differs from most other cancers in a significant way. With most cancers, if the patient remains free of cancer for five years after treatment, they are considered cured of the disease and are equally at risk with that of the general population. This is not true of breast cancer. Breast cancer requires the patient to remain vigilant, informed and pro-active for the rest of his or her life.

"New York State has responded to the rapidly-increasing incidence of breast cancer with important legislation and programs that provide mammograms for undiagnosed women. Still, there are almost no state-supported initiatives that address the post-diagnosis needs of the tens of thousands of New York women who are living with the disease. My legislation will help enhance the chance of survival by funding counseling, education and outreach programs," Lifton said.

"I will continue to push for more resources to enhance breast cancer research and promote early detection," Lifton said. "I hope I can count on the Senate and governor to make the right choice and support this initiative to help save lives."