The New York Times recently reported that the Veterans Administration (VA) is no longer releasing cancer statistics to the cancer registries without additional limitations. This means that cancers, especially prostate cancer will be underreported. Each state has been negotiating agreements with the VA and some states have found it impossible to comply with the VA new confidentiality regulations. This is a major problem for activists who use statistics for planning their activities or evaluating the success of programs within their states.

How has this change impacted the statistics just released? How will it continue to impact on cancer statistics? How will it impact on prostate cancer research?If it appears that we are experiencing successes with prostate cancer that may not be real, how will that impact on potential funding?

What can activists do? Communicate with the individuals in your state who collect cancer statistics. Are they getting complete statistics from the VA? Are there things that you can do to help them solve their problems? Communicate with the VA about the problems that this change in reporting has on the prostate cancer community.

Read about the problem in more detail in the NYT click here.

Read the VA Directive click here. 

Read about the current release of cancer statistics click here.