In summary

These new technologies will enable primary care providers to screen for dozens of cancers through a simple blood draw.

By Rhonda Smith, Los Angeles

Rhonda Smith is the executive director of the California Black Health Network and a 13-year breast cancer survivor.

Re “Have you seen a doctor lately? Delays likely to trigger deaths, poor health”; Health, April 5, 2021

As the article states, the country could see an increase in 10,000 cancer deaths due to delays in care, but that number will likely be much higher. The expected increase in cancer deaths, however, is only the beginning of the conversation – the Golden State is home to troubling racial health disparities when it comes to cancer. Black Americans are diagnosed with prostate, colorectal and lung cancer cases more than any other group and have the highest death rates.

Fortunately, bipartisan leaders are working on federal legislation – Medicare Multi-Cancer Early Detection Screening Coverage Act – to enable Medicare to cover a new type of detection test: multi-cancer early detection. These new screening technologies will enable primary care providers to screen for dozens of deadly cancers through a simple blood draw.

With April being Minority Cancer Awareness Month and Minority Health Month, now is the time to make Multi-Cancer Early Detection technologies available. 

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