Congressman Elijah Cummings (D-MD) and U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA) today introduced the Prostate Cancer Detection Research and Education Act, legislation that would improve research and detection of prostate cancer. The measure would also support a national campaign to raise awareness about the need for prostate cancer screening.
"We cannot continue to put at risk the many American men whose very lives depend upon reliable detection and diagnosis of prostate cancer," Cummings said. "I am proud to introduce this bill to ensure that men get the treatment they need, and that those at low-risk are spared from unnecessary intervention. I believe that investment in prostate cancer research is critical to reducing the terrible impact of this disease."
The Prostate Cancer Detection Research and Education Act would increase federal investment in prostate cancer research and create an expert panel to recommend a plan for developing a more accurate test for detecting and diagnosing prostate cancer.
Specifically, the legislation would direct the Secretary of Health and Human Services to:
* Establish an Advisory Council of experts to evaluate current federal research on prostate cancer and draft a plan for developing a test to effectively detect and diagnose prostate cancer
* Direct the National Institutes of Health to use the plan developed by the Advisory Council to coordinate and intensify federal research to develop and validate an accurate test for prostate cancer
* Create a national campaign to increase awareness of the need for prostate cancer screening, particularly among communities disproportionately impacted by the disease
"Prostate cancer is one of the leading threats to the health and lives of the men of this country. This legislation would promote efforts to develop a more reliable test for prostate cancer to ensure that patients are getting the right diagnosis and the treatment they need," said Senator Boxer. "We owe it to men -- and their families -- to do what we can to combat this deadly disease."
It is estimated that there will be 240,000 new cases of prostate cancer and 28,000 prostate cancer-related deaths this year alone. One out of every six men is affected by prostate cancer, making it the most common cancer in men and the second leading cause of cancer-related deaths among men.
The measure is supported by many patient advocacy groups including the AdMeTech Foundation, ZERO Project to End Prostate Cancer, the Massachusetts Prostate Cancer Coalition, Prostate Health Education Network (PHEN), California Healthcare Institute, Mets Mavericks and the National Association of the State Prostate Cancer Coalitions.