Newswire (Published: Friday, March 13, 2020, 2:03:00 PM CDT, Received: Friday, March 13, 2020, 2:24:18 PM CDT)
Word Count: 396
Source: United States House of Representatives – Congressman Joe Cunningham (SC-1)
March 5, 2020
Washington, D.C. – Today, Rep. Joe Cunningham (SC-01) and Rep. Neal Dunn, M.D. (R-FL) introduced the Veterans Prostate Cancer Treatment and Research Act (H.R. 6092). Prostate cancer is the number one cancer diagnosed in the Veterans Health Administration, with over 489,000 veterans undergoing treatment. This bill will a national clinical pathway for prostate cancer, a standardized system of care for the treatment of what is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in the veterans’ health system.
“Prostate cancer is the most common cancer diagnosis among veterans, and more prevalent among African American veterans than anyone else – one of the many health disparities that African Americans face,” said Rep. Joe Cunningham. “This bipartisan legislation will go a long way toward improving health care outcomes for our veterans by standardizing treatment options and expanding access to cutting-edge clinical trials.
“After everything our veterans experience while serving, the last thing they should be faced with is yet another enemy – prostate cancer,” said Dr. Dunn. “The key to overcoming prostate cancer is early detection. Veterans deserve a system that streamlines the pathway from early detection to successful treatment. This bill is a solid first-step forward to save fellow veterans lives and defeat this deadly adversary.”
Veterans who have been in contact with toxins, such as Agent Orange, are at higher risk for prostate cancer. Establishing a clinical pathway will standardize treatment options and result in improved outcomes for these patients. Additionally, this bill will create a real-time registry to track patient progress and will allow patients greater access to cutting edge clinical trials.
Cunningham has made caring for veterans exposed to toxic substances a top priority in Congress. Last year, he introduced the Keeping our Promises Act, which would add to the VA’s list of covered illnesses nine medical conditions already recognized by the National Academy of Medicine (NAM) as having evidence of being linked to exposure to Agent Orange—including prostate cancer. He also helped to finally pass the Blue Water Navy Veterans Act, which extended benefits to veterans that served in the territorial waters off the coast of Vietnam during the Vietnam War and veterans who served in or near the Korean Demilitarized Zone and were exposed to Agent Orange.
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