[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/03/23/art.wasserman.gi.jpg caption=" Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz announced over the weekend that she successfully beat breast cancer."]WASHINGTON (CNN) – Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz announced over the weekend that she successfully beat breast cancer. Now, she's trying to help other women do the same.
The Florida Democrat announced a new initiative at a press conference on Monday afternoon, called the EARLY Act, which would direct the Centers for Disease Control to develop an educational campaign to teach young women about breast cancer. Specifically, her program would focus on promoting early detection, increasing awareness of which ethnic backgrounds face higher risk and teaching ways to help women lower their chances of developing it.
Wasserman Schultz plans to introduce this legislation on Monday evening.
"I found my cancer early because of knowledge and awareness," Wasserman Schultz said in a statement. "I knew that I should perform breast self-exams, and I was aware of what my body was supposed to feel like. We need to ensure that every young woman in America can rely on more than luck because their survival depends on it."
Wasserman Schultz revealed over the weekend that she had privately fought breast cancer for over a year and that she was now cancer-free. She decided to have a double mastectomy and have her ovaries removed to prevent a recurrence, but she remained active in office during her treatment.