One Step Closer – Resolution Passes S.C. House

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“We are changing the tide…. NOW in South Carolina, PSA screening is still advocated!” – Dr. Vipul Patel

It was in May of 2012 that those in the fight against prostate cancer received what could become a most fatal blow with respect to prostate cancer screening, detection, diagnosis and most importantly prevention and treatment.  At the time the United States Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) released a decision that would recommend against the use of prostate-specific antigen (PSA) screening for men at risk of prostate cancer.  Opposition and controversy grew quickly, with leaders such as the American Urological Association vocalizing the shear importance of PSA screening for men – a simple blood test, that acts as the only widely available test for prostate cancer.

The decision has been at the forefront of our battle here at The International Prostate Cancer Foundation (IPCF) and it is with great satisfaction that we announce a monumental achievement in our efforts, and of those with us in the fight to resolve this issue:

As of March 12th 2013, the South Carolina House has passed a resolution petitioning the United States Congress – to seek withdrawal of the USPSTF recommendations against PSA screening.

The resolution successfully passed the South Carolina Senate in February of this year, and with combined concurrence the prospective impact looks promising.

Expressed gratitude is due and extended to Senator Nikki Setzler of South Carolina for his continued support and direct involvement in said initiative.  A valued board member of The International Prostate Cancer Foundation, former patient of Dr. Vipul Patel, activist and prostate cancer survivor, we salute him!

As we celebrate this historic event, Senator Setzler leaves us with the following statement:

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“I want to sincerely thank my colleagues in the S.C. General Assembly for their support of this resolution. I think it sends the wrong message when our citizens are discouraged from seeking early detection of life-threatening diseases. Knowledge is power. Informed patients guided by knowledgeable, competent physicians can make the best choices about their health care and treatment options. I am a living testament of that. In closing, I want to thank the International Prostate Cancer Foundation for all its efforts. The organization has helped to change my life and the lives of many others.” – Nikki Setzler

We are now even one step closer to eradicating prostate cancer!!

Our hope is that triumphs such as these act as a catalyst for change nationwide.  We perpetuate such efforts through our petition to the USPSTF – urging themto recant their negative decision – and encourage you ALL to sign, support and spread the initiative!

ACTION facilitates CHANGE, and change can SAVE LIVES!!

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For more info on resolution:

www.scstatehouse.gov/bills

www.scstatehouse.gov/pref13s2

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Congress Committed to New Jersey Legislature Supporting PSA Test…. Let’s Push Further!

Android_Congress It is clear that we have been applying special focus to events as they relate to the importance of PSA screening, a key tool in the fight against prostate cancer. The issue continues to be relevant throughout the country as new legislature emerges. Recent happenings highlight the New Jersey Legislature as they have successfully approved an act that opposes the negative recommendations made by the United States Preventive Task Force (USPSTF), in regards to PSA testing.

Specifically the act (AJR89/SJR77) asks “the Congress of the United States to seek the withdrawal of the United States Preventative Services Task Force recommendation against prostate-specific antigen-based screening for prostate cancer for men in all age groups ” Not only do the recommendations of the USPSTF discourage and send mixed signals to patients, they furthermore have a direct impact on medical coverage. The Affordable Care Act mandates that preventive services with “A” and “B” ratings receive first dollar coverage from Medicare and Private Health Insurance plans. With a “D” rating, the PSA test faces concerning levels of adversity. Even when a patient is knowledgeable enough to request the test, he may face financial barriers if not covered!

At the International Prostate Cancer Foundation we enthusiastically applaud the efforts and achievements of the New Jersey Patient Care and Access Coalition (NJPCA). Their commitment has lead hundreds of urologists to educate policy makers and key stakeholders on the importance of protecting the health of men in New Jersey. It is with the same effort that we have released a petition urging the USPSTF to withdraw their decision against the use PSA testing. With the goal of serving men nationwide, we encourage you to click here and sign the petition!

We hope that such successes mark the beginning of significant change in this matter. Ultimately we aim to push through further legislation, namely the PROSTATE Act. Drafted by the AUA the Prostate Research, Outreach, Screening, Testing, Access and Effectiveness (PROSTATE) Act fosters an integrated and coordinated approach to the battle against prostate cancer. With a continued and decisive stance, Congress is bound to take notice.

PSA Petition soon to reach 5,000 signatures….. Let’s shoot for 10,000! CREATE ACTION!!

We want to first thank our community for all of your continued efforts, support, and interest as you follow the ongoing developments surrounding this cause. Through our combined initiatives we have made considerable accomplishments and enthusiastically update you on the status of our progress.

As so many of you have signed and shared our petition, urging the USPSTF to recant their negative decision toward PSA testing, please take pride as we announce successfully reaching upwards of 4,400 signatures! Progressing at this rate we have high hopes of reaching 5,000 by this months end, if not sooner. Keeping with an aggressive approach this only motivates us further as we push toward the 10,000 signature mark! It is with confidence that we ask our community to maintain their persistence, spreading the word and calling upon their peers to sign our petition. Reaching 10,000 will be monumental in receiving national coverage and recognition. With this, key decision makers including congress, the media and the global community will be all but forced to take notice and take ACTION! Together we can CHANGE.