Gov. Eric Holcomb recently signed into law State Reps. Sharon Negele (R-Attica) and Sally Siegrist’s (R-West Lafayette) bill to reduce the number of cervical cancer deaths in Indiana.
According to the Indiana Cancer Consortium, approximately 250 new cervical cancer cases and 86 cervical cancer-related deaths occur annually among women in Indiana. House Enrolled Act 1278 requires the Indiana State Department of Health to develop a statewide strategic plan to decrease Indiana’s cervical cancer mortality rate. The state would work to identify barriers to cervical cancer prevention, screening and treatment, develop public and private partnerships to increase cervical cancer awareness and recommend actions to reduce the number of Hoosier deaths associated with the disease.
“By collaborating with ISDH, medical experts and health-care providers, we can create a targeted plan to reduce the number of Hoosier women who are diagnosed with cervical cancer,” Negele said. “The disease is almost entirely preventable by receiving regular screenings, avoiding certain risk factors and getting vaccinated against HPV. This law will take steps to educate the public and raise awareness about the ways to prevent and treat this terrible disease.”
The new law requires ISDH to submit a report outlining their plan to the governor and General Assembly by Dec. 31, 2018.
“Cervical cancer is a disease that can be prevented and treated if caught early,” Siegrist said. “Through a public and private partnership between ISDH and the medical community, we will create a comprehensive plan to help educate Hoosier women about the signs and symptoms of cervical cancer, as well as raise awareness on the steps they can take to prevent the disease.”