U.S. Sen. John F. Kerry (D-MA) has taken the lead on a national movement to recognize prostate cancer as a "health care crisis" in African American men and to improve early detection by introducing today a Senate Resolution. This bipartisan legislation urges federal agencies to end the prostate cancer crisis by supporting education, awareness, and research to advance diagnostic tools, including novel biomarkers and imaging technologies. The Resolution, co-sponsored by Sens. Saxby Chambliss (R-GA), Ben Cardin (D-MD), Daniel Akaka (D- HI), and Ron Wyden (D-OR) is the latest example of growing Congressional support for increasing federal research funding to develop reliable prostate cancer diagnostics.
"There's not a Father's Day that passes that I'm not reminded of the disease which killed my dad and which is the same diagnosis I was lucky to beat ten years ago," stated Sen. John Kerry. "Prostate cancer is a silent killer that robs us of too many fathers, brothers, and sons, and it doesn't have to be that way. We need to stay focused on research and arm Americans with the tools to prevent, detect, cure and treat this disease. I'm especially aware that African American men are one and a half times more likely to get prostate cancer and two and a half times more likely to be killed by it than other Americans, and that too is a moral reason to take on this disease."
According to AdMeTech Foundation President Dr. Faina Shtern, who has worked with Senator Kerry and his staff for several years on prostate cancer research funding issues, "While prostate cancer is curable when detected early, it remains the second most lethal cancer in men. We applaud Senator Kerry and other Massachusetts legislators leading the battle for the development of accurate diagnostics, which are critical for saving lives and eliminating unnecessary medical procedures. Similarly to women with breast cancer, early detection and minimally-invasive treatment of lethal prostate cancer should be the right of every American man."
Sen. Kerry, Sen. Scott Brown (R-MA), Senate President Therese Murray, Speaker of the House Robert DeLeo and more than 20 other leading elected officials, advocates and medical experts will discuss the ravages of the prostate cancer epidemic at the Prostate Cancer Awareness Day on June 28 from 10:00 am - 2:00 PM at the State House Hall of Flags. This event will create a Massachusetts model of national leadership in recognizing prostate cancer as a public health priority and major patient care disparity - and calling for more aggressive medical research to improve early detection.
Prostate cancer is the most common malignancy in the United States, but it has yet to be recognized as a national priority. Consequently, the federal research support is lagging behind, and men do not have reliable diagnostic tools. This epidemic kills an American man every 16 minutes and strikes an American man every 2.5 minutes.
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).