Senator Mensch Provides Remarks on Breast Cancer Screening Coverage Bill and SB 609 is Presented to Governor

Harrisburg –  Senator Bob Mensch’s (R-24) legislation, Senate Bill 609, which seeks to establish the Prostate Cancer Surveillance, Education, Detection and Treatment Act, has unanimously passed the Pennsylvania Senate and House of Representatives and has been presented to the Governor for enactment.

“The intent of the legislation is to provide the public with information and education to create greater public awareness of the prevalence of and measures available to detect, diagnose and treat prostate cancer and related chronic prostate conditions,” said Mensch. It is also intended to ensure that:

•Medical professionals, insurers, patients and governmental agencies are equally knowledgeable about screening, diagnosis and treatment options;

•Medical professionals provide patients have sufficient information about treatment options to enable patients to make an informed choice as part of informed consent and to respect the autonomy of choice; and

•Pennsylvania government agencies provide unbiased information regarding multiple standards of care.

The legislation directs the Department of Health to establish a 19-member task force on prostate cancer and related chronic prostate conditions to investigate and make recommendations.

Prostate cancer in Pennsylvania has similar incidence and mortality numbers as breast cancer.  In the past year, over 10,240 men were diagnosed with prostate cancer. That’s 28 men per day in our Commonwealth. An additional four men will die from prostate cancer every day, adding up to almost 1,300 men per year.  Prostate cancer is the most common type of cancer diagnosed in Pennsylvania men.

Senator Mensch’s also participated in the Pennsylvania Senate Banking and Insurance Committee hearing on his SB 842 which requires Pennsylvania insurers to cover the cost of supplemental breast cancer screenings like ultrasounds and MRIs for women with dense breast tissue and others at an increased risk for breast cancer.

“Act 86 of 2013, which I sponsored, established a protocol of informing women of their breast density in order to help detect breast cancer,” said Senator Mensch. “It is important that we come full circle on this matter and ensure that there is insurance coverage for ultrasound screening, MRIs or other supplemental screening if a mammogram demonstrates dense breast tissue, or if a woman is believed to be at increased risk for breast cancer. SB 842 seeks to provide that coverage which is essential in continuing to save lives and prevent family heartbreak.”

Senator Mensch’s remarks during the hearing can be heard here.

The full Banking and Insurance Committee Hearing on SB 842 can be watched here.

For other legislation sponsored by Senator Mensch, please visit this page.

More information is available on Senator Mensch’s website, www.SenatorMensch.com, on Facebook, and Twitter.

CONTACT: Sarah Rasmussen srasmussen@pasen.gov   (215) 541-2388