Senators Roy Blunt (Mo.) and Jon Tester (Mont.) are teaming up to reduce the rate of prostate cancer, the second-leading cause of cancer death among men.
Blunt and Tester's Prostate Cancer Act would streamline and expand the prostate cancer research supported by the federal government. The measure would specifically strengthen research on improvements or alternatives to current screening tests and help develop methods to distinguish between different forms of prostate cancer.
The legislation would also establish an interagency task force, led by the Department of Veterans' Affairs, to eliminate duplication of work between agencies in the field of prostate cancer research and treatment.
Dr. Sushil Lacy, the past President of the American Urological Association, says the measure will make important prostate cancer research more effective.
"This bill helps bring much-needed focus on the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of this common cancer affecting men today," Lacy said.
Blunt, a three-time cancer survivor, stressed the need to spend federal dollars wisely on prostate cancer research and education.
"The American Cancer Society estimates that 1 in 6 men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer during his lifetime. Fortunately, by improving access to prevention, diagnosis, and treatment opportunities, this is a highly treatable disease," said Blunt. "By encouraging better coordination between the various federal agencies involved in prostate cancer research and education programs, this bipartisan bill helps ensure that we spend federal dollars more effectively on a well-integrated approach."
"This disease affects too many Montana families, and we've got to confront it," Tester said. "These are some common sense steps to make sure we're using all the tools available to us to help folks facing this cancer, and that taxpayer dollars are going as far as possible to get those results."
The Prostate Cancer Act also:
* Establishes tele-health projects in rural areas and communities with high veterans populations to boost efficient use of specialist care and more effectively use "tumor boards" to counsel patients using technology
* Develops a national education campaign encouraging men to be screened for prostate cancer
Blunt and Tester's bill is supported by the Montana Medical Association, Veterans of Foreign Wars, the Prostate Cancer Foundation, Men's Health Network, and several medical associations, including the American Urological Association.
Prostate cancer is the leading cause of cancer-related death in Montana men. Research shows that residents in rural areas and veterans are especially impacted by prostate cancer.