?To win the war on prostate cancer, we must have a congressional front,? exclaimed Thomas Farrington, President and Founder of PHEN, during the summit's opening ceremonies. Congressmen James E. Clayburn (D-SC), G.K. Butterfield (D-NC) and Melvin L. Watt (D-NC) were present to respond to this call to action. They all spoke a common theme ? tackling the prostate cancer disparity tenaciously and unceasingly. (Pictured, L-R, Butterfield, Clyburn, Farrington and Watt)
Eleven members of the US Congress spoke at the 2006 summit. Presentations of key legislative initiatives important to eliminating the prostate cancer disparity, and to winning the overall war on prostate cancer were made by a number of these congressional leaders.
Senator John Kerry (D-MA) and Representative Gregory Meeks (D-NY) were joined at the summit by Representatives; G.K. Butterfield (D-NC), Donna Christensen (D-VI), James Clyburn (D-SC), Elijah Cummings (D-MD), Artur Davis (D-AL), Vito Fossella (R-NY), James Marshall (D-GA), Maxine Waters (D-CA), and Melvin Watt (D-NC).
Representative MAXINE WATERS spoke about legislation she introduced in the US House of Representatives to amend the Public Health Service Act to establish a program to provide screenings and treatment for cancer to minority or underserved populations.
The Bill (H.R. 3640) will amend the Public Health Service Act to establish a program to provide screenings and treatment for cancer to minority or underserved populations, and for other purposes. This bill would provide grants for cancer screening, counseling, treatment and prevention programs for minorities and underserved populations. The provisions of this bill have been incorporated into H.R. 3561, the Healthcare Equality and Accountability Act.
Representative JAMES MARSHALL presented highlights of legislation he recently introduced. A Bill "To amend the Public Health Service Act and title XIX of the Social Security Act to provide for a screening and treatment program for prostate cancer in the same manner as is provided for breast and cervical cancer."
This legislation would provide federal funding for both prostate cancer screening and treatment for low and moderate income men. The screening program would be modeled after the successful breast and cervical cancer early detection program which provides grants to states to fund these screenings. The average cost of a prostate cancer screening is $26. The measure would also authorize an enhanced Medicaid matching rate to those states which elect to add Medicaid coverage for prostate cancer treatment for men who have been screened through this program. This Act may be cited as the "Thomas J. Manton Prostate Cancer Early Detection and Treatment Act of 2006."
Representative ELIJAH CUMMINGS highlighted the provisions of his legislation, "House Resolution 863". This Resolution expresses the sense of the House of Representatives that Congress and the Executive Branch should recognize the successful use of advanced imaging technologies in the fight against breast cancer and provide additional support for the research and development of similiar technologies for prostate cancer detection and treatment comparable to state-of-the-art mammograms.
Representative VITO FOSSELLA presented aspects of "House Resolution 5624" To amend the Public Health Service Act to establish an Office of Men's Health. The Congress finds as follows: A silent health crisis is affecting the health and well-being of America's men; The life expectancy gap between men and women has increased from one year in 1920 to almost six years in 2002; Prostate cancer is the most frequently diagnosed cancer in the United States among men, accounting for 33 percent of all cancer cases; The incidence of prostate cancer and the resulting mortality rate in African American men is twice that in white men.
Senator JOHN KERRY and Representative GREGORY MEEKS announced that, during the summit, they entered resolutions in the Senate (578) and House 1073); "Recognizing that the occurrence of prostate cancer in African American men has reached epidemic proportions and urging Federal agencies to address that health crisis by designating funds for education, awareness outreach, and research specifically focused on how that disease affects African American men."
Eighteen members of the Congressional Black Caucus have recorded prostate health awareness messages for PHEN. These messages are used for both the PHEN radio and internet awareness initiatives. Participating MEMBERS include:Corrine Brown (D-FL), Stephanie Tubbs Jones (D-OH), Eddie Bernice Johnson, (D-TX), Maxine Waters (D-CA), Diane Watson (D-CA), William "Lacy" Clay (D-MO); Emanuel Cleaver (D-MO); James Clyburn (D-SC); Elijah Cummings (D-MD); Artur Davis (D-AL); Chaka Fattah (D-PA); Jesse Jackson, Jr. (D-IL); Kendrick Meek (D-FL); Gregory Meeks (D-NY); Donald Payne (D-NJ); Robert Scott (D-VA); and Edolphus Towns (D-NY).