Getting increased funding for the Department of Defense (DOD) Peer Review Prostate Cancer Research Program (PCRP) is one of the goals that have been identified by a coalition of many of the prostate cancer advocacy and support organizations. The funding for the program has remained stagnant for a number of years despite the fact that other cancers have seen an increase in their funding levels. When you couple this fact with the rate of medical inflation, prostate cancer research has suffered a significant “beating” and so have the prostate cancer survivors and their families.

The federal government funding process entails there being a “Dear Colleague” letter written by Senatorial and Congressional representatives specifically asking the Appropriations Committee to fund project XYZ, in this case the DOD PCRP. This letter is then circulated and the representatives and senators who support the proposal sign the letter. The letter is then forwarded to the Appropriations Committee for their consideration. The more signatures on the letter, the better the the chance for the requested appropriation to be attached to legislation.

Both of the “Dear Colleague” letters in the Senate and House have been signed and sent to the committee. Yesterday, I posted a list of which senator and which house representatives have signed the letter. Again, I urge that you go to to yesterday’s post and check to see if your senator and representative have added their endorsement to the letter. If they have supported it, please send them a note thanking them for their support and asking that they continue their support. For those of us whose representatives have failed to sign, get on the phone and write them letters demanding they explain why they have failed to support the funding.

Under the resources section of the blog I have a link that will allow you to send an email to your representative.

If we continue to fail to make noise in Washington we will continue to fail in beating this disease. None of us can discover a cure for prostate cancer, but we all can contribute to finding a cure by letting our combined voice be heard. We have failed in the past, but we can change that fact. Maybe the cure will not come in time to save any of us, but our children and grandchildren are counting on us. Do you want your children and grandchildren to have to struggle with incontinence, impotence etc? I don’t want my children and grandchildren to have to experience this, so take responsibility and make your voice heard.

Joel T Nowak MA, MSW