Normally, I don’t duplicate my postings from internet listservs, but today I am going to make an exception. There was a posting today on The list called “Prostate Problems.” The thread involved my post about the recent decision from the Social Security Administration to place a number of diseases on an accelerated approval list for benefits. Of course, advanced prostate cancer was not on the list.

David Emerson, with my approval, took the post (Oct 29) and expanded on it in his blog as well as posting a note about it on the “Prostate Problems” listserv. His post created some complaints on the listserv, and one of the posts in response to the news asked were were the activists when this list of approved disease was made by the Social Security Administration.

This question really bothered me and I replied in the following manner as I believe the time has come for our community to decide to get our act together.

I am sorry, but the question “where were our activists for those hearings” sums the problem that we have with prostate cancer. The question should be where were you?

The difference between breast and prostate cancer is not the seer statistics, its the complete failure of the entire prostate cancer community to speak up anytime and anywhere. Things will not be different, as a matter of fact we will lose ground unless the entire community become the activists.

Until each of us takes responsibility do not expect anything to change. This is the bottom line.

It is about time that we all take responsibility. Until we do, don’t be surprised that we continue to lose dollars for research and support programs, We have nobody to blame but ourselves.

You can start now by going to and sign the petition to make prostate cancer a national priority.

Joel T Nowak MA, MSW