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Ilana Ostrin

African American men and those with a family history are prioritized for affordable and accessible early detection
in new proposed legislation

WASHINGTON, D.C., November 20, 2019 – ZERO – The End of Prostate Cancer is proud to support a bipartisan legislative proposal in the U.S. House of Representatives that aims to waive cost-sharing requirements for men with the highest risk of prostate cancer. The high-risk communities included in the legislation (H.R. 5200) are African-American men and those with a family history of the disease.

In a bill introduced earlier today by U.S. Representatives Bobby L. Rush (D-Ill) and Larry Bucshon, M.D. (R-Ind.), men at high risk of developing prostate cancer would be able to receive prostate cancer screenings without deductibles, copayments, or coinsurances. The Prostate-Specific Antigen Screening for High-risk Insured Men (PSA Screening for HIM) Act would promote early detection for the men who need it most.

“This crucial bill can save the lives of men with the highest risk of dying from prostate cancer,” said ZERO CEO Jamie Bearse. “Early detection is key to survival as 99 percent survive at least five years when prostate cancer is caught early. It’s especially critical as African Americans and those with a family history are more than twice as likely to die from the disease.”

When prostate cancer is not caught until late-stage, it has only a 30 percent five-year survival rate. Often, there are no symptoms of prostate cancer before it reaches a late-stage, making early detection essential.
In a statement released earlier, Congressman Rush emphasized the lifesaving potential of this bill, saying that, “The removal of these financial barriers will help millions of at-risk men to diagnose this potentially deadly cancer early, which can often mean the difference between life and death.”

Congressman Bucshon, a former surgeon, said, “The key to successful treatment is early detection of the disease. The PSA Screening for HIM Act will help save lives by removing financial barriers that can prevent men who are most at risk … [by] getting screened for prostate cancer and catching the disease in its early and treatable stage.”

Other co-sponsors of the bill include Brian Babin, D.D.S. (R-Texas), Susan Brooks (R-Ind.), André Carson (D-Ind.), Judy Chu (D-Calif.), Steve Cohen (D-Tenn), Neal Dunn, M.D. (R-Fla.), Peter King (R-N.Y.), Gregory Meeks (D-N.Y.), Greg Murphy, M.D. (R-N.C.), Donald Payne Jr. (D-N.J.), Phil Roe, M.D. (R-Tenn.), David Scott (D-Ga.), Terri Sewell (D-Ala.), and Roger Williams (R-Texas).

Previous legislative wins for ZERO include increasing congressional appropriations for the Prostate Cancer Research Program (PCRP), the world’s most successful prostate cancer research initiative. PCRP has funded the discovery of three treatments for late-stage disease as well as a precision medicine tool that determines the aggressiveness of individual prostate cancer cases. For more information, visit zerocancer.org/advocacy.

About ZERO — The End of Prostate Cancer
ZERO — The End of Prostate Cancer is the leading national nonprofit with the mission to end prostate cancer. ZERO advances research, improves the lives of men and families, and inspires action. We’re building Generation ZERO, the first generation of men free from prostate cancer, through our national run/walk series, education and patient support programs, and grassroots advocacy. ZERO is a 501(c)(3) philanthropic organization recognized with four out of four stars by Charity Navigator, accredited by the Better Business Bureau, with regional chapters across the country. We dedicate 86 cents of every dollar to research and programs. For more information, visit www.zerocancer.org.