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Senator Roger Bedford Passes Bill Requiring the Alabama Department of Public Health to Develop Plan to Educate Breast Cancer Patients on Options

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On Monday, Senator Roger Bedford (D-Russellville) and Representative Todd Greeson (R-Ider) passed SB22, which will greatly benefit breast cancer patients in the state of Alabama. The passing of this legislation coincides with Congressman Leonard Lance’s (R-NJ-07) reintroduction of the “Breast Cancer Patient Education Act”.

SB22 requires the Alabama Department of Public Health to develop and distribute to patients a standardized, written summary to explain methods of treating breast cancer, options for reconstruction, and the availability of coverage. This bill also requires the physician issuing the report of the mammography to notify patients under certain conditions of potential problems associated with dense breast tissue.

“This legislation has been weighing heavily on my heart all session,” said Bedford. “My wife, Maudie, recently battled breast cancer, and thanks to the Good Lord she won her fight. We just walked in our first Relay for Life together as survivors – her as a one month survivor and me as a twenty-four year survivor.”

According to the American Cancer Society, in 2013 about 232,340 new cases of invasive breast cancer and around 64,640 new cases of carcinoma in situ (CIS) will be diagnosed in women. The American Cancer Society also states that breast cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death in women; the chance that breast cancer will be responsible for a woman’s death is about 1 in 36. Various other states, New York being one, have passed versions of this vital legislation.

“I am proud of the bipartisan effort this body has shown by passing this crucial piece of legislation unanimously,” Bedford said. “This bill is truly critical for all those who will be diagnosed with breast cancer in the future, and I know that it will inform and empower women to make health care decisions that best meet their personal needs.”

Senator Roger Bedford is a Democrat from Russellville.  He has served in the Alabama State Senate since 1982.  He is a twenty-four year cancer survivor of Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma.

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