2004 Regular Session
By: Representative Martinson, Fredericks, Bondurant, Barnett, Burnett, Carlton, Chism, Clark, Clarke, Coleman (29th), Coleman (65th), Denny, Dickson, Hamilton (6th), Harrison, Hines, Huddleston, Jennings, Masterson, Peranich, Rogers (14th), Scott, Stevens, Thomas, Upshaw, Wells-Smith, Whittington
A CONCURRENT RESOLUTION TO CREATE A SPECIAL TASK FORCE TO STUDY THE PREVALENCE OF CERVICAL CANCER AND HUMAN PAPILLOMAVIRUS IN WOMEN IN THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI AND TO EVALUATE THE CURRENT METHODS OF PUBLIC EDUCATION AND ACCESS TO REGULAR CANCER SCREENING AND OPTIONS FOR INCREASING SCREENING ACCURACY.
WHEREAS, following breast cancer, cervical cancer is the second most common cancer in women worldwide; and
WHEREAS, according to federal governmental statistics, cervical cancer is the third most common gynecological cancer among American women, with approximately 12,200 new cases diagnosed annually, 4,100 of which result in fatalities; and
WHEREAS, with regular and accurate screening, cervical cancer is highly preventable and although widespread screening programs have helped to reduce death rates of women from cervical cancer, women are still dying even with such advanced medical techniques and evaluative procedures; and
WHEREAS, cervical cancer cases in the United States are generally attributed to a lack of education, a reduction of access available to regular cervical cancer screening and a lack of screening accuracy; and
WHEREAS, experience shows that increasing cervical cancer awareness among women, especially the underserved women within our state, significantly reduces the probability of mortality; and
WHEREAS, cervical cancer disproportionately affects minority women and women with lower incomes because they are less likely to have access to routine screening; and
WHEREAS, approximately one-half of all cervical cancer cases are in women who have been screened and ten percent of cases are in women who have not been screened within the last five years; and
WHEREAS, the median age of cervical cancer patients at diagnosis is 47 years, the youngest median age for all female reproductive cancers; and
WHEREAS, new screening technologies, including FDA-approved testing for human papillomavirus, which is the cause of virtually all cervical cancers, offer new opportunities to finally eliminate this potentially deadly disease through early identification of women at increased risk; and
WHEREAS, leading medical organizations, including the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, the American Cancer Society, and the Association of Reproductive Health Professionals, have recently updated their screening guidelines to include FDA-approved testing for the human papillomavirus; and
WHEREAS, women are entitled to proper cervical cancer information, so that they can be empowered to make informed health care decisions, and access to routine screening, including the most accurate methods available; and
WHEREAS, the Mississippi Legislature recognizes that through education and screening, women can lower their likelihood for developing cervical cancer, and that through early detection, cervical cancer can be successfully treated after it develops:
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED BY THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI, THE SENATE CONCURRING THEREIN, That there is created a special Cervical Cancer Elimination Task Force to take the lead in reviewing data regarding cervical cancer and human papillomavirus of women within this state and evaluating current methods used to provide women with information regarding cervical cancer, access to regular screening and options for increasing screening accuracy. In addition, the duties of the task force shall include the identification of pockets of need, priority strategies and new technologies, including newly introduced therapies and preventative vaccines which are effective in preventing and controlling the risk of cervical cancer.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, That the task force, in collaboration with the Mississippi Department of Health, shall report its findings and raise public awareness of the causes and nature of cervical cancer, personal risk factors, the value of early detection and prevention, options for testing, new technologies, treatment costs, medical care reimbursement issues and physician education.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, That the task force shall consist of the Executive Director of the State Department of Health, or his designee; two members of the House of Representatives to be appointed by the Speaker of the House; two members of the Senate to be appointed by the Lieutenant Governor; and one representative from each of the following organizations to be appointed by that organization: the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Academy of Family Physicians, the American Cancer Society and the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, That all appropriate state agencies, as well as relevant professional/medical organizations may provide assistance to the task force upon request of the chairperson.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, That all legislative members of the task force who are duly elected members of the Legislature shall remain members of the task force until the task force reports its findings and recommendations to the Legislature.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, That the task force shall be convened by the member with the most years of continuous service in the Legislature, and at its first meeting shall elect a chair, vice chair and such other officers the task force deems necessary.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, That the task force shall timely report its findings and recommendations, including any proposed legislation, to the Legislature no later than March 1, 2005, at which time the task force shall be dissolved.