An important week for prostate cancer in Washington, DC

Over the next few days, hundreds of prostate cancer patients, advocates, and researchers will be gathering in DC for a series of events focused on progress against prostate cancer. And there is a shared five-point plan of action to take to Congress and the White House.

Starting today the “Advance on Washington” initiative will feature a series of events coordinated by the Prostate Cancer Foundation, the Prostate Health Education Network, ZERO — The Project to End Prostate Cancer, and others.

Specific events that will occur during the week include:

  • The Prostate Cancer Foundation’s Scientific Retreat, at the Washington Hilton (on September 14-16)
  • The ZERO Prostate Cancer Summit, at the L’Enfant Plaza Hotel (on September 14-16)
  • The Prostate Health Education Network’s African American Prostate Cancer Disparity Summit at the Congressional Black Caucus Meeting (on September 16-17)
  • The Black Barbershop Health Outreach Program’s Prostate Education Program at select barbershops throughout the Washington, DC and Baltimore metro areas (on September 18)

An additional feature is the announcement of a new five-point call to action for policy-makers in Washington issued by the Prostate Cancer Foundation and supported by most of America’s Prostate Cancer Organizations (including Prostate Cancer International). The complete five-point plan can be seen if you click here, together with the accompanying letter to President Obama and members of Congress. However, the five key points are as follows:

  1. Increase the National Cancer Institute’s $5 billion annual budget to accelerate basic and treatment sciences research for human prostate cancer from $294 million to a transparent $400 million.
  2. Increase the appropriation for the Congressionally Directed Medical Research Program for Prostate Cancer at the Department of Defense to $120 million from $80 million.
  3. Establish an Office on Men’s Health (OMH) in the Department of Health and Human Services equivalent to The Office on Women’s Health (OWH) established in 1991.
  4. Create a Prostate Cancer Scientific Advisory Board for the Office of the Chief Scientist at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to accelerate real-time sharing of the latest research data and accelerate movement of new medicines to patients.
  5. Create human capital by launching more careers of the best and brightest scientists in the U.S. to solve the prostate cancer problem.

Call or write to President Obama and your Congressional representatives and ask them to support this five-point plan. We are beginning to make serious progress against prostate cancer, and the next decade could be crucial to our ability to seriously impact the effect of this form of cancer on men the world over.

We had asked the President to light the White House blue and/or feature a blue ribbon in celebration of Prostate Cancer Awareness Month during this week — no sign of that yet (that we have heard about), but there are still another few days in the week!

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