On Eve of Weekend Heralding Traditional Start of Summer, Rep. Maloney Announces Introduction of Bipartisan Legislation to Fund Skin Cancer Research
New York, NY - On the eve of Memorial Day weekend, the traditional start of the summer season, Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) announced today that she is joining her colleague, Congressman Brian Bilbray (R-CA), to introduce the Melanoma Research Act of 2012, H.R. 5716. With skin cancer and melanoma rates continuing to skyrocket in the United States, Representatives Maloney and Bilbray are introducing the measure to establish a Skin Cancer Research Fund to support research conducted by the National Institutes of Health (NIH).
“With melanoma the most rapidly increasing form of cancer in America, the establishment of a Skin Cancer Research Fund is a good idea whose time has come. Boosting skin cancer research will aid efforts to prevent and treat melanomas and other cancers, and help increase public awareness about protecting ourselves from skin cancer,” said Congresswoman Maloney.
“It’s frustrating that the all-too-often deadly disease of skin cancer is often preventable. Melanoma is now the most common form of skin cancer among young adults, disproportionately striking women,” said Representative Maloney.
Under the provisions of the Bilbray-Maloney legislation, the Skin Cancer Research Fund’s budget will be supported by existing user fees levied on indoor tanning services. These user fees were estimated to have generated $54.4 million, according to a 2011 report by the Inspector General’s office.
In addition to melanoma, the Melanoma Research Act of 2012 will also underwrite National Institutes of Health research on other types of skin cancer, including Actinic keratosis, Basal cell carcinoma, Kaposi's sarcoma, and Squamous cell carcinoma. The Melanoma Research Act is supported by the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network, Melanoma Research Alliance and the Melanoma Research Fund.
Skin cancer is the most rapidly growing form of cancer in the United States, with a new diagnosis made every eight minutes, leading to a death every hour, according to the Melanoma Research Foundation. Despite these daunting figures, there is still no source of public funding dedicated to the research or prevention of skin cancer.
Congresswoman Maloney has long been an active advocate for national efforts to prevent and treat melanomas and skin cancers, In 2007, she introduced the Tanning Accountability and Notification (TAN) Act, which would require Food and Drug Administration to determine whether the current labeling of indoor tanning beds provides sufficient information about the risks associated with indoor tanning; its language was included in the Food and Drug Administration Amendments Act (FDAAA) of 2007 (Public Law 110-85, Section 230 of the FDAAA). Last year, she joined with Congressman Charles Dent (R-PA) to introduce the Tanning Bed Cancer Control Act of 2011, H.R. 1676, which would update federal regulation of tanning beds with the aim of limiting the amount of UV rays emitted by tanning beds and the period of time consumers may be exposed to harmful radiation.