HOUSTON, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) — Officials with the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network recently presented an award to two Texas State Representatives from the Texas Panhandle region.

According to a news release from the organization, Texas Rep. Four Price (District 87) and Texas Rep. John Smithee (District 86) both received the Advocacy in Action award earlier this month. Officials said this award, one of the “most prestigious” awards presented by the organization, is “in recognition of their significant contributions to the fight against cancer” throughout the state.

Lawmakers, including Smithee and Price, passed legislation during a recent legislative session, making it more affordable for Texas residents to receive colorectal cancer screenings. The release said that the bill passed in May 2021 after new recommendations by the United States Preventative Services Task Force were released, lowering the age of beginning colorectal screenings from 50 to 45.

According to the release, colorectal cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death in the state of Texas. Through the new law, Texas residents 45 and older will now have coverage for colorectal cancer screenings.

“Colorectal cancer is one of the most preventable cancers if screened early,” Teresa Prock, a volunteer with the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network and an Amarillo resident, said in the release. “I’m grateful for the leadership of Amarillo’s two House members, Rep. John Smithee as the sponsor and Rep. Four Price as a co-sponsor, on this important and lifesaving bill. I am so pleased to have been a part of recognizing their work and being a part of presenting this the Texas Advocacy in Action award this week.”

For more information on the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network, visit the organization’s website.