U.S. District Court Ruling Could Reduce Access to Proven Cancer Screenings

Statement By Julie R. Gralow, MD, FACP, FASCO Chief Medical Officer & Executive Vice President American Society of Clinical Oncology and Association for Clinical Oncology (ASCO)
For immediate release
March 30, 2023


Allison Miller

ALEXANDRIA, Va. – “Today’s ruling is a significant step backward in the effort to reduce cancer incidence and death. By reversing the now more than decade-long requirement that insurance plans cover proven cancer screenings—including those for breast, colon, and lung—health plans could reinstate cost-sharing and patients could once again be forced to weigh the potentially lifesaving benefit of a doctor-recommended cancer screening against the out-of-pocket costs it may generate. This choice would be especially difficult for limited income populations who already shoulder a disproportionate cancer burden and would only serve to widen health disparities.

Cancer care providers nationwide would surely see the negative effects of later-stage diagnosis and poorer long-term outcomes should this ruling be upheld. If we as a nation are going to achieve the goals of ending cancer as we know it, we need to ensure people have easy, affordable access to critical cancer screenings. 

ASCO urges the government to quickly appeal this ruling and reaffirm critical cancer screening coverage for all those at risk of the disease.”

About ASCO: 

The American Society of Clinical Oncology, Inc. (the Society) and the Association for Clinical Oncology (the Association) are committed to the principle that knowledge conquers cancer and represent nearly 45,000 oncology professionals who care for people living with cancer. Through research, education, and promotion of high quality, equitable patient care, the Society works to conquer cancer and create a world where cancer is prevented or cured, and every survivor is healthy. The Association works to ensure that all individuals with cancer have access to high quality, equitable care; that the cancer care delivery system supports optimal cancer care; and that our nation supports robust federal funding for research on the prevention, screening, diagnosis, and treatment of cancer. Learn more about the Society at www.ASCO.org, explore patient education resources at www.Cancer.Net, and follow us on FacebookTwitterLinkedIn, Instagram, and YouTube. Learn more about the Association at www.ascoassociation.org and follow us on Twitter.