Veterans who have been exposed to chemical agents are twice as likely to develop prostate cancer as their civilian counterparts.
Congress is poised to ruin Father's Day for millions of men and their families by drastically cutting funding for prostate cancer research.
The House Appropriations Committee approved a bill that would provide $64 million in FY2012 for the Prostate Cancer Research Program as part of the Department of Defense's Congressionally Directed Medical Research Program. This is a 20 percent reduction from the $80 million provided yearly since 2006 to study the disease, develop new drugs and save lives.
"Prostate cancer affects one in six men and dis-proportionally affects our nation's veterans," said Skip Lockwood, CEO of ZERO "The Project to End Prostate Cancer. "This decision by Congress will punish veterans who have already sacrificed a great deal for their country."
Veterans who have been exposed to chemical agents such as Agent Orange in Vietnam, other unknown chemicals that have emerged since the Desert Storm operations in Iraq, and depleted uranium are twice as likely to develop prostate cancer as their civilian counterparts.
Department of Defense funding has lead to new prostate cancer drugs reaching Food and Drug Administration approval in 2010 and 2011. Amgen's Xgeva, which reduces bone breaks and other skeletal complications, and Johnson & Johnson's Zytiga, a second-line treatment for castration-resistant prostate cancer, were both developed with funding from the Congressionally Directed Medical Research Programs. Without this research funding, prostate cancer drugs that are currently available and saving lives would still remain in clinical trials.
To continue this critical funding for prostate cancer research, write to your representatives and senators and tell them that prostate cancer research funding is a national priority. ZERO The Project to End Prostate Cancer has developed a web-based form to make it easier to contact your elected officials. To access the form, visit capwiz.com/zerocancer/issues/alert/alertid=49703501.
The Project to End Prostate Cancer (www.zerocancer.org) - At ZERO, we commit ourselves not only to reduce prostate cancer or alleviate the pain from the disease, but also to end it. We see a future where all men who have been diagnosed with prostate cancer will be cured or manage their illness with good quality of life; with the support they need to minimize physical and emotional suffering, and to cope effectively throughout their cancer journey. To accomplish our goal, we provide comprehensive treatment information to patients, education to those at risk and conduct free prostate cancer testing throughout the country. We increase research funds from the federal government to find new treatments and we fund local grants to end the disease.