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Taking the Fight Against Cancer From Mississippi to DC

WASHINGTON, D.C.–Taking the fight against cancer from Mississippi to Washington, D.C.: That’s what a group of cancer survivors from the Magnolia State were doing Tuesday. They were expected to meet with Mississippi’s Congressional delegation to let them know that fighting cancer should get a bigger chunk of the federal budget.

Jane Streets, of Brandon, is a 19-year breast cancer survivor. But, she says her family’s stories are what keep her going back to make research a priority.

“More importantly, I have a nephew who spent his senior year in high school in the hospital with leukemia, and I have a cousin who lost her ten year old son to a malignant brain tumor, and I just wouldn’t want another family to go through the heartache and devastation that we have,” she said.

“That’s why research is so critical. We’ve made huge strides and we’re on the cusp of so much more, but it takes money funding research.”

As lawmakers get the federal budget ready, putting more money into research is one of three priorities the group is pushing, as part of the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network, which is a group of volunteers from all states, who are in D.C. this week to remind lawmakers about personal struggles that families go through.

Streets said research funding has gone down 22 percent in the past decade.

“Also I’ll be asking them to co-sponsor legislation that improves the quality of life for cancer patients.”

She said a third priority will be asking for the removal of a Medicare loophole that could leave you holding the bag if you go in for a colonoscopy.

“If a polyp is found, it’s removed right away and then that becomes a diagnostic colonoscopy and the patient wakes up with co-pay and co-insurance.”

She says that could mean a $500 charge and that could make it prohibitive to get a colonoscopy.

Streets and the American Cancer Society say 1,600 people die of cancer every day and that’s why Congress should make it a priority.

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