Rep. Donald M. Payne, Jr. recently formed the Congressional Colorectal Caucus with Rep. Rodney Davis (R-IL). The caucus will help to promote more awareness of colorectal cancer and caucus members will fight to pass legislation that improves treatments and survival rates from the deadly disease.

“I have been working to protect Americans from colorectal cancer since my first day in Congress,” said Payne, Jr. “We need to increase funding and awareness of it so more people can get screened, which will lead to more people being treated and surviving it. This is a great day for all of us who want to save lives in the fight against this deadly disease.”

Rep. Payne, Jr. wrote a letter to the Chair of the Committee on House Administration Rep. Zoe Lofgren to make the caucus official. The letter asked Rep. Lofgren to accept the formal submission to accept the caucus as a Congressional Member Organization for the 117th Congress.

Payne, Jr.’s creation of the caucus is one of several actions taken to support the fight against colorectal cancer. Recently, he asked for a presidential proclamation to declare March as National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month. Last year, Rep. Payne, Jr.’s bill to improve colorectal cancer screenings, the Removing Barriers to Colorectal Cancer Screening Act, was signed into public law. Now, Medicare recipients can get their colorectal cancer screenings and treatments during the screenings covered under the Medicare program. Before the bill, Medicare would cover screenings, but not treatments for the disease.

“As the husband of a colorectal cancer survivor I am proud to co-chair the Congressional Colorectal Cancer Caucus,” said U.S. Rep. Rodney Davis. “Fighting colorectal cancer and reducing its incidence is personal to me. At the age of 26 my wife was diagnosed with a genetic form of cancer, Lynch syndrome, that could affect our kids, and we’re fortunate that she was able to receive treatment that saved her life. Colorectal cancer is the 2nd leading cause of cancer death among men and women combined in the U.S., and those deaths are preventable. This caucus will work to raise awareness and advocate for legislation to combat this horrible disease.”

Colorectal cancer is the second deadliest form of cancer and kills more than 50,000 Americans annually. But it has one of the highest survival rates if it is detected and treated early. Colorectal cancer has been one of the Congressman’s leading issues in Congress since his father, Congressman Donald Payne, Sr., died of the disease in 2012.

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