It is again time to contact your members in congress and urge them to support of H.R. 6389 (the Prostate Act), which, if passed, would require coordination and intensification of prostate cancer research by government departments.

The bill was introduced on Sept. 29 by the Rep. Edolphus Towns (D-NY), chair of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform. A Senate version of the Prostate Act was introduced by Sens. Jon Tester (D-MT) and George Voinovich (R-OH).

According to the AUA (American Urology Association), which is actively supporting the bill, the Prostate Act, will help foster greater national integration and coordination on the many efforts to promote more effective prevention, diagnosis, treatment, public education, and health care delivery for this disease.

The bill includes the following provisions:

• the formation of an inter-agency Prostate Cancer Coordination and Education Task Force composed of agencies from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the U.S. Department of Defense and led by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs

• the coordination and intensification of prostate cancer research among the VA, the Department of Defense, and the Department of Health and Human Services

• establishment of a grant program to build upon existing knowledge gained from comparative effectiveness research, and recognize and address the racial and ethnic disparities in the incidence and mortality rates of prostate cancer

• establishment of 4-year tele-health pilot projects in a variety of geographic areas

• the development of a national education campaign intended to encourage men to seek prostate cancer screening when appropriate.

Prostate cancer advocates and survivors must move to bring awareness of this disease to members of our government and to the general public. Prostate cancer cannot continue to be considered the “good cancer.” We need to be out there, front and center, letting people know that 32,000 men will die this year from prostate cancer, 100,000’s of men will be made impotent and incontinent.

Please ask your member of congress (both Senators and House Members) that you want them to support H.R. 6389 (the Prostate Act).

Joel T Nowak, M.A., M.S.W.