National Cancer Institute NCI Cancer Bulletin: A Trusted Source for Cancer Research News
October 19, 2010 • Volume 7 / Number 20

HHS Update

Advisory Committee Will Work to Heighten Breast Cancer Awareness

During an October 16 teleconference marking Breast Cancer Awareness Month, HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius announced the formation of a new federal advisory committee that will work with the CDC to heighten awareness among women under the age of 40 about breast health and breast cancer. The 15-member committee will be chaired by Dr. Ann Partridge, clinical director of the Breast Oncology Center at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.

The new advisory committee is a result of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, which was signed into law by President Barack Obama earlier this year and charged the CDC with developing initiatives to improve knowledge of breast health and breast cancer, with a specific focus on younger women.

During the teleconference, Secretary Sebelius was joined by Second Lady Dr. Jill Biden, and they discussed other aspects of the law designed to help improve the detection and treatment of breast cancer, including requirements for new insurance plans to cover preventive screenings, such as mammograms, without charge and outlawing the denial of insurance coverage because of pre-existing conditions.