Prostate cancer is the most common cancer (after skin cancer) among men—one in eight men will be diagnosed with it in their lifetime. Early identification and treatment of the disease is often the key to full recovery. This is particularly important for Veterans at highest risk for the disease, such as Veterans who have been exposed to burn pits, Agent Orange and other carcinogenic and toxic materials during military service.
H.R. 4880 and S. 2720, the Veterans' Prostate Cancer Treatment and Research Act, are bipartisan bills that would require the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to develop, in collaboration with knowledgeable federal stakeholders and partners, a clinical pathway to diagnose and treat prostate cancer at each stage of the disease. Importantly, in creating these pathways, the bills would require that VA consult with Veterans who have received VA care for prostate cancer in addition to multi-disciplinary cancer care providers and clinical researchers.
Not later than 180 days after enactment of the legislation, the VA would be required to submit a plan for implementing the pathway in its clinical programs to include provisions for oversight and data-driven program evaluation and an educational plan for patients and providers. VA would also be required to include a means of identifying best practices and bolstering funding to support its prostate cancer research efforts.
DAV supports the Veterans' Prostate Cancer Treatment and Research Act, in accordance with DAV Resolution No. 028, which calls on VA to provide high-quality, responsive, comprehensive health care to all enrolled Veterans. Developing a clinical pathway for the treatment of prostate cancer is an important first step in ensuring VA provides best-in-class screening, diagnosis and treatment for this common, often service-related disease.
This legislation is in accord with DAV Resolution No. 256, which supports VA's medical research program for the purpose of helping wounded, injured and ill Veterans recover and rehabilitate from health conditions related to their military service.
Please contact your Senators and Representative today to ask for their support of this important legislation.