Boozman Continues Building Momentum for Improvements to Mammography Services for Servicemembers and Veterans
Dec 21 2021
WASHINGTON – Legislative measures spearheaded by U.S. Senator John Boozman (R-AR) are set to deliver improvements to mammography services and breast cancer detection initiatives for servicemembers and veterans.
“Updating policies to make breast cancer screenings more accessible and allow for earlier detection for servicemembers and veterans is crucial to saving lives. We know they are at a higher risk of developing breast cancer as a result of exposure to burn pits and other conditions, so we have an obligation to ensure they receive the care they need,” Boozman said. “I will continue working to enact safeguards that will better protect their health.”
A provision authored by Boozman in the Fiscal Year 2022 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) prioritizes care for servicemembers by requiring the Department of Defense (DoD) to report breast cancer rates of servicemembers deployed over the past 10 years and directing the Pentagon to make recommendations to improve mammogram screening services in order to detect and treat breast cancer in servicemembers earlier.
Boozman is championing a comprehensive approach to improve early detection of breast cancer through the DoD and the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).
The incidence of breast cancer in women veterans and military populations is estimated to be up to 40 percent higher than the general female population according to a report from the National Institutes of Health.
Boozman is pushing for updated policies to reflect additional risk factors associated with the unique environments in which military members serve through his leadership on the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee.
The committee recently advanced the Boozman-backed Making Advances in Mammography and Medical Options (MAMMO) for Veterans Act, legislation that would strengthen and expand access to high-quality breast cancer screening and life-saving care for veterans. The MAMMO for Veterans Act will provide Arkansas veterans with access to cancer treatment through National Cancer Institute partnerships that currently do not exist in the state.
This follows VA Committee approval of the Supporting Expanded Review for Veterans in Combat Environments (SERVICE) Act. This legislation authored by Boozman and approved by the committee in July would require the VA to conduct mammograms for all women who served in areas associated with burn pits and other toxic exposures regardless of age, symptoms or family history.