TALLAHASSEE — Nearly 90% of Florida voters (89%) support increasing funding for a program that provides free breast and cervical cancer screenings to low-income women according to a new poll released by the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN) conducted by Sachs Media.
Poll findings showed support consistent across party lines, gender and age with more than 90% support among the various groups.
“As state legislators consider proposals this upcoming session that impact the lives and health of Floridians, it’s clear Florida voters believe an increase in funding for our Mary Brogan Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection Program is necessary and as such should be top of mind for the legislature,” noted Susan Harbin, ACS CAN Senior Government Relations Director in Florida.
At current funding levels, the lifesaving program only reaches a mere 8% of eligible Floridians. Evidence from other states show that a significant funding increase results in improved access to early detection and treatment though the program, particularly among families with low-incomes who are least likely to be screened.
An increase to $3 million would also help address the record drop in breast cancer screenings at the onset of the pandemic that have yet to return to pre-pandemic rates and better reach rural, Black and Latin communities – who make up a majority of eligible Floridians.
The Breast Cancer burden in Florida
• The American Cancer Society’s annual cancer figures report released last week showed Florida’s overall cancer cases on the rise, including for breast and cervical cancer
• Breast cancer remains the leading cancer diagnosis for Floridians with nearly 21,000 Floridians expected to be diagnosed this year.
• Mammography remains the single most effective method of early detection with a five-year survival rate for localized breast cancers at 99%.
• Cancer is the leading cause of death for Latina women living in the U.S. with breast cancer as the most common diagnosis. Black women are 40% more likely than white women to die from breast cancer in part due to a lack of access to screenings and timely treatment.