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New ‘50 Vets in 50 States’ Campaign Raises Awareness for Prostate Cancer Among High-risk Community


Ilana Ostrin

Vets nationwide will raise their voices to increase awareness about prostate cancer risks and support enhanced health care experiences for Veterans

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, ZERO launched its “50 Vets in 50 States” campaign to develop state leaders among the almost 500,000 Veterans nationwide battling prostate cancer. This campaign aims to bring awareness to the numerous Veterans facing prostate cancer nationwide, by identifying men who made the sacrifice to serve our country, not knowing that their exposure to various hazards during their service would lead to a battle with prostate cancer. Today, nearly half a million Veterans are facing prostate cancer, and Vets have a risk of prostate cancer which is double that of civilians.

Campaign participants will help build a powerful, nationwide team of Veterans who are prostate cancer survivors and advocates. Together, alongside ZERO staff and other advocates, these Vets will serve as leaders in their states to expand prostate cancer advocacy and educational outreach to save the lives of other at-risk Vets.

ZERO Veteran Leaders will be selected by ZERO. They are to be passionate and vocal advocates for improving and expanding care through the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), Veterans Health Administration (VHA), and the Mission Act (the 2018 MISSION Act is a permanent program allowing Veterans access to health care in the community). Additionally, those involved will help support ZERO’s other Veteran-related advocacy, such as advancing life-changing legislation like H.R. 6092, which would create a unified clinical pathway for prostate cancer in VHA facilities and positively impact the care and services Veterans receive each day. 

“This campaign is a chance for Veterans to connect with others facing prostate cancer and bring attention to their plight,” said Alison Manson, ZERO’s Vice President of Government Relations and Advocacy. “But more importantly, together they can share their stories of courage, hope, healing, and resilience. With almost half a million Vets facing prostate cancer nationwide, they are helping to put a face to the many more like them.”

“I invite all Veterans who have conquered or are still in the trenches with prostate cancer to answer this call to arms,” said Mike Crosby, a prostate cancer patient, former naval aviator, and founder of Veterans Prostate Cancer Awareness (VPCa). “I’m proud to represent California for the 50 Vets in 50 States Campaign, as just one of the many men nationwide in the fight of our lives.”

Veterans have almost twice the risk of prostate cancer compared to civilians, in some cases due to toxic chemical and radiation exposure during their time in service. ZERO first formalized its efforts around Veterans awareness and programming last year when it announced a partnership with a Veterans-founded group called Veterans Prostate Cancer Awareness (VPCa). The campaign goal is to reach 50 Veterans in 50 States by the end of December 2021. Any interested and eligible Veterans can reach out to Alison Manson at ali@zerocancer.org to learn more about potential involvement.

For more information on Veterans and prostate cancer, visit zerocancer.org/veterans.

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 and help all who are impacted. ZERO advances research, provides support, and creates solutions to achieve health equity to meet the most critical needs of our community. From early detection to survivorship, ZERO is the premier resource for prostate cancer patients and their families to access comprehensive support, make meaningful connections, and take action to save lives. Our dedicated national and chapter staff is joined with a growing team of passionate volunteer champions to increase advocacy, awareness, and community engagement to ZERO out prostate cancer. ZERO is recognized with four out of four stars by Charity Navigator and accredited by the Better Business Bureau. ZERO spends more on programs than any other prostate cancer charity, dedicating 85 cents of every dollar to support, education, and research.