Most people don’t know that a watershed moment for prostate cancer was inspired by breast cancer. In 1996, several groups of concerned patients, physicians, and advocates came together to create the National Prostate Cancer Coalition. Modeled after the National Breast Cancer Coalition, this new organization was formed to stand up for men and their families impacted by prostate cancer and become a political force for a cure.
The first challenge was to create public awareness and a collective voice for the prostate cancer movement. We brought the face of prostate cancer to Congress with testimony from survivors and those who lost loved ones to the disease, spearheading the Department of Defense’s Prostate Cancer Research Program. We championed strategic alliances with national and local organizations and politicians to advance and protect critical government funds for prostate cancer research. We pioneered free mobile prostate cancer screening across the nation through our Drive Against Prostate Cancer program, testing more than 130,000 at-risk men and alerting them to potentially life-saving information.
As the prostate cancer landscape has evolved, so have we. Today, we are the destination for taking action to end prostate cancer and creating solutions to meet the most critical needs of our community. One of the most important initiatives at ZERO is advancing health equity to help bridge the gap between racial and health disparities in prostate cancer among Black men, one of the groups most at risk for prostate cancer. ZERO continues to be on the front lines in Washington, D.C., and grassroots communities to help drive new legislation and policies that positively impact the lives of those at risk and who are suffering from this disease. We provide men and families with educational resources and funding promising research for improved early detection options. Our mantra to support, educate, and activate is mobilizing a like-minded, passionate, and multigenerational army of advocates across the country to ZERO out this disease once and for all.
In 2021, ZERO merged with Us TOO International, the nation’s first prostate cancer support group network. Us TOO started in early 1990 when Chicago-based Urologist Dr. Gerald Chodak met with five patients, Edward C. Kaps, John DeBoer, Edward von Holst, John Moenck, and Vincent Young, to discuss their prostate cancer journeys. For the next 30 years, Us TOO would grow to a network of 200+ support groups that helped transform resignation into determination and fear into hope for men and their families dealing with prostate cancer. With the ZERO and Us TOO merger, patients now have access to a single prostate cancer support powerhouse.
Whether you are a 40-year-old father of three young children in the prime of your life, a single 50-year-old man without kids, or a 65-year-old excited to enjoy your retirement, the face of prostate cancer can look very different. What unites us all is our steadfast commitment to eliminate the pain and suffering and create Generation ZERO – the first generation of men free from prostate cancer.