The PRIME Act Follows Historic Congressional Hearing Which Highlighted Lack of Accurate Prostate Diagnostics
WASHINGTON, March 9 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- AdMeTech President and CEO Dr. Faina Shtern and Oscar-winning actor Louis Gossett, Jr. today praised Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-MD) for re-introducing the Prostate Research Imaging and Men's Education (PRIME) Act, which calls for $650 million to improve imaging and blood tests for early detection and treatment of prostate cancer.
Rep. Cummings introduced the legislation last week as a result of his participation in the historic prostate cancer hearing by the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, which was prompted largely by him and other supporters of the AdMeTech Foundation. Dr. Shtern and Mr. Gossett, Jr. testified at this hearing, as did other key experts of the American Cancer Society, medicine, advocacy groups, National Cancer Institute and the Department of Defense. Mr. Gossett, Jr. was recently diagnosed with early prostate cancer and expressed his commitment to support research, awareness and increased access.
After the hearing, Gossett said, "I am a patient undergoing treatment and a concerned citizen who volunteered to serve in the war against prostate cancer crisis, which disproportionately strikes and kills African American men. It is an honor for me to have partnered with AdMeTech Foundation in having taken part in a historic Congressional hearing. I am grateful to Rep. Cummings for making this hearing possible and for introducing $650 million legislation in support of research and men's education."
Dr. Shtern summarized the expert opinions expressed at the hearing: "In spite of the magnitude of the prostate cancer epidemic, and as reflected in the recent guidelines of the American Cancer Society, men do not have reliable diagnostic tools and consequently, experience a staggering extent of unnecessary biopsies, unnecessary treatment, and patient care failures. Introduction of the PRIME Act is an important step in ending the prostate cancer crisis, which compromises quality of life in millions of men and adds at least $5 billion in health care costs each year." She added. "We commend Rep. Cummings, Committee Chairman Edolphus Towns (D-NY) and Ranking Member Darrell Issa (R-CA) for their outstanding, continuous leadership." Both Rep. Towns and Rep. Issa have previously co-sponsored the PRIME Act, which has found bi-partisan support from 13 other members of U.S. Congress prior to its introduction.
The PRIME Act (H.R. 4756) would invest total $650 million – which represents less than 12 percent of the annual waste in health care costs due to the lack of accurate prostate diagnostics – over the next five years. This includes $500 million for research to develop new imaging technologies for improved early detection and minimally-invasive, patient-tailored treatment; $100 million to develop more specific blood and/or urinary tests for mass screening and prevention; and $50 million for men's education. A companion bill, S. 756, sponsored by Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-CA) and co-sponsored by Sen. John Kerry (D-MA), is pending in the Senate.
PROSTATE CANCER FACTS
Prostate cancer is the most common major cancer in the United States and the second most lethal cancer in men. Prostate cancer kills a man every 19 minutes, even though prostate cancer can be cured when detected early.
Existing prostate diagnostics, such as the PSA biomarker and digital rectal exam, cause widespread underdiagnosis, overdiagnosis and overtreatment. Current diagnostics miss and/or underestimate the extent and/or aggressiveness of prostate cancer and lead to treatment failures in as many as half of all men.
False diagnostic alarms result in a staggering extent of unnecessary biopsies and treatment, costing billions of dollars each year. Up to 88 percent of all biopsies – performed on more than 1 million men blindly and randomly each year at a cost of over $2 billion – do not show prostate cancer.
As many as 54 percent of men with early prostate cancer undergo unnecessary treatment and are left with life-altering complications, such as incontinence and impotence. Improved diagnostic tools, including more specific biomarkers for urinary and/or blood tests which can be used for mass screening and advanced imaging tools to guide biopsies, early detection and treatment, will save lives, enable the least invasive and the most effective patient care, reduce unnecessary procedures, improve quality of life in millions of men and decrease health care costs by at least $5 billion per year.
AdMeTech Foundation is a nonprofit organization with the mission to end the prostate cancer crisis. AdMeTech provides international leadership and conducts ground-breaking programs in research and education to facilitate development of accurate diagnostic tools for early detection and minimally-invasive treatment of prostate cancer. For more information, log onto www.admetech.org
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