Senator Atkins Introduces Komen Bill to Remove Arbitrary Cap on Treatment Time for Breast Cancer and Cervical Cancer

SACRAMENTO—Senator Toni Atkins (D-San Diego) on Monday introduced SB 945, legislation that seeks to remove arbitrary caps in the state’s Breast and Cervical Cancer Treatment Program (BCCTP) for low-income, uninsured or underinsured patients.

Currently, the BCCTP caps treatment for breast cancer at 18 months and treatment for cervical cancer at 24 months, regardless of medical need. SB 945 would remove those caps and allow the program to continue to provide treatment for as long as necessary.

“Cancer does not affect everyone the same way,” said Atkins. “Treatment time can vary dramatically from patient to patient. There is no good reason to stop providing care while someone is still in need of it.”

“SB 945 will save lives in California,” added Kelly Mac Millan, executive director of the Northern and Central California chapter of Susan G. Komen, which is sponsoring the bill. “Arbitrarily stopping cancer treatment for our most vulnerable women makes no sense.”

SB 945 builds on AB 1795, a bill authored by Atkins and signed by Gov. Jerry Brown in 2016. AB 1795 expanded treatment by removing the minimum eligibility age for symptomatic women to receive breast-cancer screening, and by providing treatment for women who experience a recurrence of cancer regardless of whether or not it appears in the same part of the body as the first occurrence.

Website of Senator Toni G. Atkins: www.senate.ca.gov/Atkins