Press Release of U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer
|For Immediate Release: |
June 27, 2012
Washington D.C. Office (202) 224-3553
Boxer, Cummings Introduce Legislation to Promote Prostate Cancer Research
Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA) and Congressman Elijah Cummings (D-MD) today introduced the Prostate Cancer Detection Research and Education Act, legislation that would improve research and detection of prostate cancer, which afflicts one out of every six men. The measure would also support a national campaign to raise awareness about the need for prostate cancer screening.
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.”
Congressman Cummings said, “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.”
Prostate cancer is the second leading cause of cancer-related deaths among men, with an estimated 240,000 new cases and 28,000 prostate cancer related deaths predicted for 2012.
The Prostate Cancer Detection Research and Education Act would increase federal investment in prostate cancer research and bring together a panel of leading medical experts to work toward the ultimate goal: developing an accurate test that can detect prostate cancer and diagnose how severe the cancer is.
Unfortunately, current tests for prostate cancer lead to a number of false-negative and false-positive results for patients. It is critical to develop a more accurate test that not only detects the disease, but also measures the severity of the cancer – to avoid exposing patients to treatments that in some cases can be more harmful than the disease itself.
Specifically, the legislation would direct the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services to:
· Establish an Advisory Council of experts to evaluate the current federal research on prostate cancer and draft a plan for developing a test to detect and diagnose prostate cancer, similar to the Advisory Council recently created to propose a plan for Alzheimer’s disease research.
· 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, which recognizes and works to address the racial disparities in the incidence 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.