U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer and U.S. Representative Elijah Cummings Introduce Historic $180 Million Authorization Bill for Improved Early Detection of Prostate Cancer
BOSTON -- U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA) and Congressman Elijah Cummings (D-MD) have introduced groundbreaking legislation authorizing $180 million in new federal spending for improved early detection of prostate cancer, a health care epidemic which now strikes an American man every 2.5 minutes and claims the life of an American man every 16 minutes. Moreover, African American men have a 60% higher incidence and a 250% higher mortality than any other ethnic group.
Senator Boxer said, "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. We owe it to men - and their families - to do what we can to combat this deadly disease."
The Boxer-Cummings bill comes as political, advocacy and medical leaders converged at the State House today in support of advancement of early detection of prostate cancer, which is critical for saving lives. The rally saluted this historic legislation, which offers hope to millions of men faced with the recent recommendation of the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force against PSA screening, which is the only tool available today for early diagnosis and treatment. "We cannot continue to put at risk the many American men whose very lives depend upon reliable detection and diagnosis of prostate cancer. I am proud to introduce this bill with Senator Boxer 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," said Congressman Cummings.
The new federal legislation, titled the Prostate Cancer Detection Research and Education Act, breaks new ground and focuses on the critical solution to the prostate cancer crisis by authorizing federal investment for the comprehensive approach to the advancement of early and accurate diagnosis. It calls for the establishment of a public-private Advisory Council led by the Secretary of Health and Human Services and composed of the key stakeholders in government, medicine and advocacy. The legislation also would authorize a new five-year, $150 million coordinated and comprehensive research effort led by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) aimed at advancing and validating biomarkers and imaging technologies that would improve the clinical value of PSA screening and advance biomarkers and imaging technologies in order to improve the quality and cost-effectiveness of patient care. The bill also calls for a public awareness and education campaign led by NIH and Centers for Disease Control to increase knowledge of prostate cancer in general and to address its disproportionate impact on African-American men specifically.
State Senate President Therese Murray, Speaker of the House Robert DeLeo, leaders of the Joint Ways and Means Committee Senator Stephen Brewer and Representative Stephen Kulik, Chairs of the Joint Public Health Committee Senator Susan Fargo and Representative Jeffrey Sanchez, more than twenty other key State and Boston City legislators, physicians and advocates call on everyone in Massachusetts to lead the nation in providing support for the Boxer-Cummings bill at the Prostate Cancer Awareness Day on June 28 from 10:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m. at the State House Hall of Flags. US Senators Scott Brown (R-MA) and John Kerry (D-MA), a prostate cancer survivor, will speak via video on the critical support of research and education to advance early detection of prostate cancer.
The measure is supported by many health care and patient advocacy groups including the AdMeTech Foundation, the ZERO Project to End Prostate Cancer, the Massachusetts Prostate Cancer Coalition, the Prostate Health Education Network (PHEN), the California Healthcare Institute, the Medical Imaging Technology Alliance, Mets Mavericks and the National Alliance of State Prostate Cancer Coalitions.
Prostate Cancer Awareness Day is hosted by the Boston-based AdMeTech Foundation, a non-profit organization providing international leadership in prostate cancer research, education, and awareness ( www.admetech.org ).