Prostate Cancer – an ongoing battle, a prevalent topic of concern and a cause to support! At the International Prostate Cancer Foundation (IPCF), we fight daily to educate and raise awareness, knowing however that this battle is not one to be conquered alone. It is with respect and appreciation that we highlight the current efforts of the Prostate Cancer Roundtable as they update their National Policy Agenda to better serve those at risk of this deadly disease. Only with combined recognition of the threat can we impact necessary change.
With similar goals to the IPCF, the Prostate Cancer Roundtable acts as a forum to establish and ensure a shared set of valued legislative and scientific priorities affecting the prevention, detection of risk, diagnosis, and management of prostate cancer. Recently, the members have updated this shared national policy agenda for use in 2013. The result? A basis for discussions with policy and key decision makers, that will hold strong and push for progress.
The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) was a main topic of focus as the updated agenda would seek revisions to the decision making process of the USPSTF. Specifically, to make certain that the USPSTF make all efforts to gather input from those whom are experts in the particular area of preventative services under review. To date, the 16 volunteer members of the USPSTF had been those entrusted with gathering evidence for use in decision making. This process often neglected referencing different specialized experts for differing diseases. No longer will decisions without full reference to patient advocacy groups, specialty medical groups & federal agencies be accepted.
Agenda priorities such as these are sure to have a standing impact. We have spoken about the negative impact of which previous USPSTF decisions have had on prostate cancer screening & prevention and we see this a positive step forward, preventing such occurrences.
Along with the above, other fundamental priorities of the agenda include to:
- Increase funding for Prostate Cancer specific research up to $120 million/year
- Increase federal funding for Cancer in general
- Pass the Bill to create an Office on Men’s Health within the HHS
- Establish a Prostate Cancer Scientific Advisory Board within the FDA
It is with a sense of relief that the International Prostate Cancer Foundation presents such efforts to you, as we are in agreement. Every day presents a challenge, however it is becoming quite clear that advocates are stepping up to the battle and working to create an integrated legislative force of support with respect to prostate cancer and all those affected by it.