Johnson advances plan to require insurers to cover pancreatic cancer screenings

  • State Senator Adriane Johnson (D-Buffalo Grove)Illinois Senate Democratic Caucus

    State Senator Adriane Johnson (D-Buffalo Grove)Illinois Senate Democratic Caucus

 
 
Updated 4/26/2021 8:32 AM

To encourage early detection and improve outcomes for Illinoisans with pancreatic cancer, State Senator Adriane Johnson (D-Buffalo Grove) spearheaded an initiative requiring health insurance plans to cover pancreatic cancer screenings.

"Pancreatic cancer is one of the deadliest forms of the disease," Johnson said. "Early detection could make all the difference - it's critical that screening is accessible and affordable for every Illinoisan."

 

The measure would require all Illinois health insurance providers to cover medically necessary pancreatic cancer screenings starting Jan. 1, 2022.

In 2021, an estimated 60,430 new cases of pancreatic cancer will be diagnosed in the U.S. and 48,220 people will die from the disease, according to the American Cancer Society. Signs and symptoms of pancreatic cancer include abdominal and back pain, weight loss, jaundice, and nausea or loss of appetite.

To reduce the risk of developing pancreatic cancer, the Mayo Clinic recommends avoiding smoking, maintaining a healthy weight, and eating a variety of colorful fruits and vegetables and whole grains.

"One of the most effective steps we can take in the fight against pancreatic cancer is to raise awareness," Johnson said. "Talk to your doctor about your risk factors and whether you should consider getting screened."

Senate Bill 968 passed the Senate Friday with bipartisan support and now heads to the House.

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