House of Representatives Overwhelmingly Supports H. Con. Res. 291 in Session of 107th Congress.
DELRAY BEACH, FL. / October 3, 2002 — The Endometriosis Research Center (ERC) is delighted to announce that House Concurrent Resolution 291 was unanimously passed in the House of Representatives on October 1, 2002.
Introduced by Congressman Buck McKeon (R-25th District) and supported by numerous Co-sponsors, H. Con. Res. 291 officially recognizes the need for
Endometriosis awareness and education, and expresses the sense of Congress that it “strongly supports efforts to raise public awareness of
Endometriosis throughout the medical and lay communities and recognizes the need for better support of patients with Endometriosis, the need for
physicians to better understand the disease, the need for more effective treatments, and ultimately, the need for a cure.”
The ERC, which began working on H. Con. Res. 291 last summer, has been instrumental in other Endometriosis-related legislation as well. Earlier
this year, the ERC celebrated the enactment of Assembly Concurrent Resolution 160, which was unanimously passed by the California State Senate
in March. Introduced by Assemblyman George Runner (R-36th District) and Assemblywoman Patricia Bates (R-73rd District) and supported by 70
Co-Sponsors, ACR 160 officially proclaimed the month of March as “Endometriosis Awareness Month” in conjunction with the ERC’s anniversary.
The ERC also previously testified before the California State Legislature at the invitation of Assemblyman Dennis Cardoza (D-26th District) on behalf of AB 2820, a consequential bill calling for independent research into the presence of Dioxin, which has been linked to Endometriosis, in feminine
hygiene products and the subsequent risks this toxin poses to women and their children. AB 2820 was approved by majority vote and passed on to the Senate Committee on Health & Human Services.
“We are extremely gratified that the 107th Congress has recognized the significant need for awareness and understanding of this painful disease,” said Michelle E. Marvel, Founder and Executive Director of the ERC. “Those who live with Endometriosis know all too well the negative impact the disease can have on their lives,” she said. “However, outside of the Endometriosis community, awareness is severely lacking. We have found that the disease continues to remain misdiagnosed, misunderstood, and ineffectively treated, despite being one of the most prevalent causes of chronic pain in today’s society. Only though awareness can we increase education about Endometriosis.”
Often referred to as “painful periods,” Endometriosis is more than just killer cramps. With Endometriosis, tissue like the endometrium (tissue
lining the uterus which builds up and sheds each month during menstruation) is found outside the uterus, in other areas of the body. These implants
respond to hormonal commands each month and break down and bleed; however, unlike normal endometrium, these implants have no way of leaving the body. The result is internal bleeding, inflammation of surrounding areas, expression of irritating enzymes, and formation of scar tissue. In
addition, depending on the location of growths, interference with the bowel, bladder, intestines and other areas of the pelvic cavity can occur.
Endometriosis has also been found lodged in the skin and at extrapelvic locations such as the arm, leg and even brain.
Symptoms include pelvic pain with or without menstruation, infertility, miscarriage, ectopic pregnancy, pain during or after intercourse,
gastrointestinal difficulties, fatigue, chronic pain, allergies and other immune system-related dysfunction. Studies have also shown an elevated risk of certain cancers and autoimmune disorders in women with Endometriosis. Though there are several theories, researchers remain unsure as to the specific cause of Endometriosis, and there is currently no definitive cure. The current method of diagnosis is an invasive surgical procedure; however, research is underway concerning non-invasive diagnostics.
The pain from Endometriosis can be so debilitating as to render a woman or teen with the illness unable to carry out her normal routine. Businesses
lose millions of dollars each year in lost productivity and work time because of Endometriosis pain. In addition, the cost of surgery required to
diagnose the disease in each patient alone adds greatly to the financial burden of both consumers and companies. “Yet, many people have never even heard of Endometriosis,” said Mary Prenger, Leader of the ERC’s Legislative Awareness Committee. “In fact, in approaching various Representatives to garner support for both ACR 160 and H. Con. Res. 291, we learned that many
of them were unfamiliar with the disease until the ERC brought it to their attention.”
The ERC is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization that was founded by Executive Director Michelle E. Marvel in early 1997 to address the growing needs of the international Endometriosis community. The ERC helps to improve the quality of life for those with the disease through their International
support and education programs, which include nearly 45 in-person support groups throughout the United States, Canada and the Caribbean, and the
Internet’s largest electronic Endometriosis support group; providing practitioners, patients and all those interested in the disease with extensive educational materials; raising awareness about Endometriosis; working with legislators to facilitate proper funding for Endometriosis research; conducting product focus studies; facilitating patient recruitment and participation in clinical trials and research studies; assisting medical
industry leaders with developmental research and data collection on Endometriosis; much more. The ERC is currently implementing their latest program for Professionals, EndoMED(tm), which is designed to encourage global collaboration and advance the study and treatment of Endometriosis. Unlike similar women’s health organizations, the organization is unique in that it is not fee-based. There is never a cost to participate in the ERC programs. The organization exists solely on the donations and contributions of concerned individuals and organizations that share the ERC’s vision of
helping women and teens with Endometriosis–and of someday finding a cure for the disease.
“With the sponsorship of policymakers like Congressman McKeon and our other supporters, we can ensure that Endometriosis is no longer treated as an insignificant issue,” said Marvel. “Patients, physicians and society at
large need to understand that Endometriosis is a disease which affects all of us.”
The Endometriosis Research Center a 501(c)3 Tax Exempt, Tax Deductible Organization
630 Ibis Drive | Delray Beach, FL 33444 USA
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