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Did You Know About the Gynecologic Cancer Education Act?

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Most people are unaware of The Gynecologic Cancer Education and Awareness Act of 2005 (H.R. 1245-3) otherwise known as “Johanna’s Act”. Passed by both the House and the Senate of the US Congress, this act calls for development of a “national campaign to increase the awareness and knowledge of health care providers and women with respect to gynecologic cancers.” President George Bush signed this Act into law on January 12, 2007.

In addition to developing this “national campaign”, other requirements included developing and providing written informational documents to be distributed to the public upon request and the development of public service announcements or PSAs, informing the public that these materials were available. In addition, the PSAs were to encourage women to discuss gynecologic cancers with their physicians.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Food and Drug Administration were expected to contribute to these directives all of which the Secretary of the CDC was to have in place no later than March 1, 2008. For the period of fiscal years 2007 through 2009, Congress appropriated $16.5 million dollars.

The campaign eventually developed by the CDC was called Inside Knowledge. Considering the fact that not once did I ever see a television commercial, see a printed advertisement or see anything prominent on the Internet, I would say that the name was quite appropriate.

According to the website “Johanna’s Law”, Sharon Leigh, Founder/President of the Early Detection Cancer Corporation is very pleased that President Obama on December 23,2010 signed into action Johanna’s Law: The Gynecologic Education and Awareness Act. The 2010 version of Johanna’s Law will continue to allow the Center for disease Control and Prevention to educate women and medical professionals about the signs, symptoms and early detection of gynecologic cancers. The law will let the CDC work with national organizations encourage partnerships and avoid duplication of services and materials.”

Hopefully the reauthorization of this Act and the additional millions appropriated for its funding will end up facilitating something that is no longer “inside knowledge” and instead will actually provide the education and awareness for which the Act was intended.


"Johanna’s Law." Early Detection of Ovarian Cancer. N.p., n.d. Web. 24 Aug. 2011.

"Johanna’s Law Reauthorized | Cervical Cancer Free America ." Cervical Cancer Free America | Eliminating Cervical Cancer Through Vaccination, Screening and Education . N.p., n.d. Web. 24 Aug. 2011. http://www.cervicalcancerfreeamerica.org/johanna%E2%80%99s-law-reauthorized

Web August 23, 2011

Reviewed August 24, 2011
by Michele Blacksberg R.N.
Edited by Jody Smith

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