Printable Version

"Johanna’s Law: The Gynecologic Cancers

Education and Awareness Act of 2005"

Why Johanna's Law is Needed

  • Early detection is the key to successful treatment of gynecologic cancers. The five-year survival rates for the most common gynecologic cancers are 90 percent when diagnosed early, but the survival rates drop to 50 percent or less for cancers diagnosed later.
  • While diagnosis and treatment methods are becoming more targeted and accurate for gynecologic cancers, nearly 80,000 American women are newly diagnosed each year, with approximately 29,000 deaths from these cancers annually in the U.S.
  • Gynecologic cancers such as ovarian and endometrial cancer do not yet have a reliable screening test that can be used for the general population. Knowing the symptoms is key to early diagnosis.
  • Most women are still unaware of their risk factors and the early symptoms of gynecologic cancers. These symptoms can easily be confused with common gastrointestinal illnesses, menopause, or perimenopause.
  • Many physicians have limited opportunity to examine gynecologic oncology patients during their training. As a result, many don't consider gynecologic cancers when patients present with these types of symptoms.

Johanna's Law would authorize a national gynecologic cancer early detection   and awareness campaign directed at women and their physicians.

Bill Summary



The bill would authorize a national gynecologic cancer early detection and awareness campaign directed at women and their providers.

  1. National Public Awareness Campaign. The Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), will carry out a national campaign to increase women’s awareness and knowledge of gynecologic cancers. Activities would include:
    • Maintaining and distributing a supply of written materials that provide information to the public about gynecologic cancers, and;
    • Developing and placing Public Service Announcements intended to encourage women to discuss their risks for gynecologic cancers with their physician, and informing the public about the availability of written materials and how to obtain them.
  2. Demonstration Grants for Outreach and Education. HHS will award demonstration grants to local and national non-profits to test different outreach and education strategies, including strategies directed at providers, women and their families. Priority would be given to groups with demonstrated expertise in gynecologic cancer education, treatment, or in working with groups of women who are at especially high risk. The proposals should establish linkage with providers, hospitals, payers, and state health departments.


Gynecologic Cancers: 5 Year Survival Rates


 malignant tumor confined to original organ;
 extended beyond original organ to surrounding organs and tissues,
 &nbsplymph nodes;
 extended to remote areas of body from original site.

Ovarian Cancer – 25,580 new cases with 16,090 deaths  
expected this year

All stages – 53% Local – 95% Regional – 81% Distant – 31%

(Note: Only 25% of all cases diagnosed early)


Cervical Cancer – 10,520 new cases with 3,900 deaths      
expected this year     

All stages – 71% Local – 92% Regional – 51% Distant – 15%

(Note: Mostly diagnosed as preinvasive lesion and is nearly 100% survival. Preinvasive lesions are not counted as part of 10,520 annual cases)


Endometrial Cancer – 40,320 new cases with 7,090 deaths
        expected this year

All stages – 84% Local – 96% Regional – 64% Distant – 26%