Published On: Wed, Jan 21st, 2015

The National Prostate Cancer Plan Act introduced by Sens Boxer and Sessions

U.S. Senators Barbara Boxer (D-CA) and Jeff Sessions (R-AL) today introduced legislation to fight prostate cancer. The National Prostate Cancer Plan Act would establish a council of federal agencies, patients, and medical experts charged with drafting and implementing a national strategy to combat prostate cancer.

Prostate (normal and enlarged) Image in the public domain by Alan Hoofring

Prostate (normal and enlarged)
Image in the public domain by Alan Hoofring

“Prostate cancer is one of the leading threats to the health and lives of American men,” said Senator Boxer. “We owe it to all of our families to do everything we can to fight this deadly disease.”

“Prostate cancer is one of the leading causes of cancer deaths in men. This legislation would help develop a national strategy to apply the best and most current medical thinking and approaches to preventing, treating, and ultimately curing prostate cancer,” said Senator Sessions.

Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men and is the second leading cause of cancer related deaths in men, with nearly 221,000 new cases and more than 27,500 prostate cancer related deaths predicted in 2015. However, current screening techniques result in numerous false-negatives, leaving many men to wrongly believe they are cancer-free, and also many false-positives, which can lead to painful, costly and unnecessary procedures.

The Boxer-Sessions legislation would direct the National Prostate Cancer Council to develop and implement a national strategic plan to accelerate the innovation of diagnostic tools to improve prostate cancer screening and early detection, while also helping to reduce unnecessary treatment. The Council would also be responsible for evaluating federal prostate cancer programs and coordinating prostate cancer research and services across all federal agencies.

The legislation has been endorsed by ZERO – The End of Prostate Cancer, the AdMeTech Foundation, the American Urological Association, OPKO Health, Women Against Prostate Cancer, the Prostate Cancer Research Institute, and the Prostate Cancer Foundation. The bill is modeled after a similar bill to combat Alzheimer’s disease, the National Alzheimer’s Project Act, which passed Congress with broad bipartisan support in 2010.

Boxer and Sessions also introduced the legislation in the 113th Congress.

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