Oregon House Passes Bill to Create Breast Cancer License Plate

Funds from the Breast Cancer License Plate portion of HB 2730 A would go to early detection and prevention programs

Today, the Oregon House passed legislation to create a Breast Cancer Awareness license plate, the proceeds of which would be appropriated to the Oregon Health Authority (OHA) for use for early detection of breast and cervical cancers. Each year approximately 5,000 low-income, uninsured, and medically-underserved individuals receive services through the Breast and Cervical Cancer Treatment Program the OHA administers.

According to the American Cancer Society (ACS), breast cancer is the most frequently diagnosed form of cancer among women, and accounts for one quarter of all cancers diagnosed in U.S. women each year. Oregon has one of the highest rates of breast cancer in the United States. Additional ACS data shows that when breast cancer is diagnosed early, the survival rate for women can be as high as 90 percent. When early screening is delayed, the survival rate of U.S. women drops to 70 percent.

“One of the best ways to stop this leading cause of cancer deaths in the United Sates is education and early prevention,” says Rep. Susan McLain (D-Forest Grove). “My husband died of cancer in 2009, and I also have an aunt who had breast cancer, and one of the reasons she is still alive at 82 is because she had early detection of breast cancer.”

The breast cancer awareness license plate program would be administered through the Department of Transportation as a “Specialty Plate.” The most successful specialty plate currently in circulation is the Crater Lake license plate; it generates approximately $600,000 per year. HB 2730 combines the Breast Cancer Awareness plate and the Blazers specialty plate, which will be the last two plates to be approved by the State Legislature. From now on specialty plates will be the responsibility of ODOT.

“I suspect this might well be one of the most successful license plates out there. I don’t suspect there’s any of us that haven’t been touched very closely or indirectly with this,” said Rep. Bill Kennemer (R-Oregon City), whose first wife passed away due to breast cancer. “I encourage your support for this. It will save lives, literally.”

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