When it comes to prostate cancer, one of the lesser-known facts is that Veterans are one of the most vulnerable groups. One in five American Veterans will be diagnosed with prostate cancer in their lifetime, nearly double the general population’s rate. Prostate cancer is also the most common cancer diagnosis among Veterans, with almost 489,000 Veterans currently being treated for the disease within the Veteran’s Health Administration (VHA).
These numbers show how vital it is that Veterans receive the resources, tools, and education needed to fight and prevent the disease, which is why the ZERO Prostate Cancer Veterans Initiative was launched. Our Veterans Initiative has three main goals:
- Create a standardized clinical pathway for prostate cancer care within the VHA system
- Provide prostate cancer educational materials and research support for Veterans, physicians, and active-duty military
- Support the care and funding of Veterans through legislative efforts
ZERO is a member of the Veterans Prostate Cancer Working Group and a proud supporter of the Veterans’ Prostate Cancer Treatment and Research Act, which was recently introduced both in the House (H.R. 4880) and Senate (S. 2720). The bill aims to establish a national clinical pathway for prostate cancer within the Veterans Health Administration, which would achieve one of our primary goals in the Veteran space.
Recently, we have also begun participating in the Kindness Campaign. The Kindness Campaign aims to provide emotional support to Veterans who have cancer while also raising awareness of toxic exposure to harmful chemicals, such as Agent Orange, which has been linked to increased cases of prostate cancer among Veterans. In addition, through the campaign, people can purchase or prepare gift baskets for Veterans currently fighting cancer, bringing comfort and support to those who have served our nation.
For more on ZERO’s efforts in supporting and advocating for Veterans, please visit zerocancer.org/veterans.