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Prostate Cancer Roundtable Announces Updated National Policy Agenda

WASHINGTON, Jan. 16, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Representing the interests of the 240,000 American men who are at risk each year for a diagnosis of prostate cancer, and the over 2 million men living today who have been diagnosed with this deadly form of cancer, the members of the Prostate Cancer Roundtable have updated their shared, national policy agenda which will act as the basis for discussions with policy makers starting in 2013.

"This policy agenda is the result of a very constructive meeting of the members of the Prostate Cancer Roundtable in Washington, D.C., on November 30, 2012.  A key point in that agenda is the absolute need to update the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force decision-making process for the benefit of not just those at risk for prostate cancer, but those at risk for all chronic and deadly diseases," stated Scott Williams, Senior Vice President of Men's Health Network.

Senior delegates to the Prostate Cancer Roundtable have emphasized the continuing value of the close working relationships that have been formed between the member organizations over the past 4 years. The regular meetings of the Prostate Cancer Roundtable have led to a closer working relationship and improved insight into how the member organizations can best work together to promote broad public awareness of risk, high quality research, appropriate early detection, and more effective treatment strategies for men with and at risk for prostate cancer.

"The Prostate Cancer Roundtable continues to work closely together to ensure progress against the most prevalent form of cancer affecting men in America today," added Merel Nissenberg, President of the National Alliance of State Prostate Coalitions.

"The semi-annual meetings of the Prostate Cancer Roundtable in our nation's capitol continue to provide insight into how the prostate cancer community can best work together to promote research, early awareness, and effective treatment strategies," said Thomas Kirk, President and CEO of Us TOO International Prostate Cancer Education and Support Network.

The fundamental priorities of this policy agenda are as follows:

  • We continue to seek an increase in the appropriation to support the successful work of the Prostate Cancer Research Program within the Department of Defense's Congressionally Directed Medical Research Program – from its current $80 million to $120 million per year.
  • We continue to work with the broader cancer community to support increased federal funding for cancer research through the annual appropriations process for the National Institutes of Health, the National Cancer Institute, and the Centers for Disease Control.
  • Within the annual appropriation for the National Cancer Institute, we seek an increase in the current funding of $288 million for basic and translational prostate cancer research to $400 million per year.
  • We seek passage of a bill to create an Office on Men's Health within the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) that can mirror the 20-year successes of the Office on Women's Health established in 1991.
  • We support legislative, research, and educational efforts needed to effectively combat – and ideally to eliminate -- the epidemic of prostate cancer among African American men.
  • We seek the establishment of a Prostate Cancer Scientific Advisory Board for the Office of the Chief Scientist at the US Food & Drug Administration (FDA), with the goal of accelerating the real-time sharing of the latest research data and the movement of new medicines into clinical practice in the best interests of patients.
  • We seek revisions to the decision-making processes of the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) to ensure appropriate input from representatives of patient advocacy groups, specialty medical groups, and other federal agencies that have expertise in each area of preventive services under review.

"Research is the hope for the future.  Key research programs like those at the Prostate Cancer Research Program within the Department of Defense's Congressionally Directed Medical Research Program and at the National Cancer Institute provide hope for better diagnostic tools and for a much-needed cure," said Skip Lockwood, CEO of ZERO – The End of Prostate Cancer.

"African Americans are at highest risk for prostate cancer, and our organizations plan to continue efforts to promote awareness among policy makers and others of the tragic effect this disease has on the families in the African American community," stated Thomas Farrington of the Prostate Health Education Network.

"The members of Prostate Cancer Roundtable have been working since 2009 to ensure that policy makers understand how prostate cancer is affecting the lives of men and their families.  This policy agenda sets the standard for prostate cancer advocacy across the country," said Joel Nowak, Director of Advocacy for Malecare.

About Prostate Cancer
Prostate cancer is the most prevalent form of cancer among American males. Nearly 240,000 men were projected to be diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2012, and approximately 30,000 are projected to die from this disease each year. Any man may be at risk for prostate cancer, but increased risk factors are known to include race, family history, elevated prostate specific antigen (PSA) levels, positive findings on a digital rectal examination, and selected pathological findings on prior biopsies.  

About the Prostate Cancer Roundtable
The Prostate Cancer Roundtable, representing America's prostate cancer community, is a group of independent, patient-centric, not-for-profit organizations that cooperate to foster the development of policies supporting high quality prostate cancer research, the prevention and early detection of clinically significant prostate cancer, the appropriate care and effective treatment of men with prostate cancer, and the appropriate education of all men at risk for this disease.

The members of the Prostate Cancer Roundtable are:

SOURCE Prostate Cancer Roundtable

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