Bill would promote cancer education

LINCOLN, Neb. (KSNB) – A bill in the Legislature would create a cancer education program in Nebraska.

Omaha Sen. Robert Hilkemann introduced legislation that would provide $500,000 a year from the Nebraska Health Care Cash Fund to a Nebraska-based organization to provide comprehensive cancer education and support. The program would educate Nebraskanians about the causes of cancer and the services available.

Hilkemann said education and prevention efforts can significantly reduce cancer cases.

“These are dollars that will save lives,” Hilkemann said. “Detecting asymptomatic patients as early as possible gives them the best chance of treatment success. When care is delayed or inaccessible, we see reduced chances of survival, greater problems associated with treatment, and higher costs of care.

Alan Thorson testified in support on behalf of the Nebraska Medical Association. He said about 42% of cancers could be prevented with current medical knowledge and practices.

“Doing this requires thorough public education about screening, early detection, treatment alternatives, caregiver support, survivorship management, and nutrition and physical therapy support,” Thorson said. “LB1230 offers the possibility of sustainably financing the administrative staff of such an organization.”

The Health and Human Services Committee heard testimony on the bill on Thursday. No one testified against the bill and the committee took no immediate action on it.

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Donald E. Patel