Health and Human Services

Bill would promote cancer education

The Health and Human Services Committee heard testimony Feb. 3 on a bill that would create a cancer education program in Nebraska.

Sen. Robert Hilkemann
Sen. Robert Hilkemann

LB1230, introduced by Sen. Robert Hilkemann of Omaha, would appropriate $500,000 annually from the Nebraska Health Care Cash Fund to a Nebraska-based organization to provide comprehensive cancer education and support. The program would educate Nebraskans about the causes of cancer and available services.

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

“These are dollars that will save lives,” Hilkemann said. “Detecting asymptomatic patients as early as possible gives them the best chance for successful treatment. When care is delayed or inaccessible, we see a lower chance 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 an estimated 42 percent of cancers could be prevented with current medical knowledge and practices.

“To do so requires extensive public education about screening, early detection, treatment alternatives, caregiver support, survivorship management and support for nutrition and physical therapy,” Thorson said. “LB1230 provides an opportunity to sustainably fund administrative staff of such an organization.”

No one testified in opposition to the bill and the committee took no immediate action on it.

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