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East County News Service

March 9, 2016 (San Diego) -- Speaker Emeritus Toni G. Atkins (D-San Diego) has introduced legislation that would close several gaps when it comes to providing screening and treatment for breast and cervical cancer to low-income Californians.

AB 1795 would expand the Every Woman Counts program so that it covers patients who are younger than 40 and symptomatic for breast cancer, expand the state Breast and Cervical Cancer Treatment Program (BCCTP) so that it covers patients whose cancer has recurred in the same part of the body, and expand the BCCTP so that it covers patients whose treatment needs exceed 18 months for breast cancer and 24 months for cervical cancer.

“This bill will make sure that all California women have access to mammograms and early cancer treatment, regardless of their age, what kind of cancer they have or where they have it, and how long it takes to fight it,” Speaker Emeritus Atkins (D-San Diego) said. “The best, most effective way to keep Californians healthy is to detect problems early and begin treatment immediately. Unfortunately, those principles aren’t always followed in state law. We’re going to fix that.”

Speaker Emeritus Atkins announced the bill Tuesday on the south steps of the Capitol. With her was Audrey Millemann, chair of the Susan G. Komen California Public Policy Collaborative. Susan G. Komen is the sponsor of AB 1795.

“We are confident that by removing state-imposed timelines for treatment and expanding access to women who are under the age of 40 and showing signs of breast cancer, AB 1795 will save more lives,” said Komen Sacramento Executive Director Kelly Mac Millan, “We are honored that Speaker Emeritus Atkins has chosen to champion this important life-saving legislation.”

Also appearing were two principal co-authors of AB 1795, Senator Richard Pan and Assemblymember Cristina Garcia, as well as Sonia Briseno, a breast-cancer survivor, and Dr. Jessica Les, a breast-cancer survivor and physician at Vista Family Health Center in Santa Rosa.

The Assembly Health Committee will hold a hearing on the bill at 1:30 p.m. Tuesday, March 15th.

Below are audio links from the press conference:


Opening remarks from Speaker Emeritus Toni Atkins at today’s AB 1795 news conference at the State Capitol. (3:08)


Speaker Emeritus Atkins says there are many women who fall through the gaps in coverage. (:27)


Speaker Emeritus Atkins says AB 1795 will fill the gaps in coverage. (:28)



Website of Assembly Speaker Emeritus Toni G. Atkins:


Breast cancer and cervical cancer

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