US Senate Declares Prostate Cancer among African Americans an Epidemic

August 5, 2012 by  
Filed under Prostate Cancer News

The United States Senate recently passed a bill that reveals prostate cancer among African Americans epidemic. The resolution therefore calls for further government intervention in the area of education, awareness creation and Black men focused research.

The epidemic proportion of prostate cancer among African Americans is alarming as statistics from the National Cancer Institute (NCI) is showing that 540 in 100,000 are diagnosed of the disease.

This means that African Americans are disproportionately affected by cancer of the prostate. Here are more details on the Senate’s resolution on Autism:

Despite ongoing debate about the benefits of PSA testing for men at risk for prostate cancer, and recent research on the best course of treatment for those who have been diagnosed, the U.S. Senate passed a resolution Thursday acknowledging that awareness and prevention of the disease is as critical as it’s ever been for African American men.

According to The Hill, the Senate resolution, which was introduced by Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.), urges federal agencies to address what they’re now calling an “epidemic” by supporting education, awareness outreach and research specifically focused on how prostate cancer affects black men.

“Prostate cancer is an epidemic — it kills every 16 minutes,” Kerry said in a press release. “This disease killed my dad, but I was lucky to beat it ten years ago, I introduced this resolution in the Senate to bring attention to this silent killer, how it disproportionately affects African Americans, and the need for additional federal investment in prostate cancer research, education, and awareness,” he said.

Each year, some 504 in 100,000 African American men are diagnosed with prostate cancer, the National Cancer Institute reports. And while the disease is curable when detected early, it remains the second most lethal cancer in men, killing over 30,000 men each year, a disproportionate number of which are black.

Research efforts continue to explore why, including recent studies that point to higher rates of vitamin D deficiency among blacks, genetic differences compared to whites and even ancestry. For example, in 2009, researchers found a higher prevalence of prostate cancer in men of West African descent.

In addition to Kerry, other sponsors of the Senate measure — which passed by unanimous consent — are also prostate cancer survivors, The Hill reports. Source.

The declaration of prostate cancer among African-Americans as an epidemic is not a new development. Many research studies have shown that black men are more susceptible to prostate cancer than any other race.

However, this bill is still timely as it will spur government to place further priority on awareness creation and help in supporting research that will lead to treatment and cure for this scourge. The unanimous consent by the senate should be commended.

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