KERRY CALLS ON FEDERAL AGENCIES TO INCREASE FUNDING FOR PROSTATE CANCER RESEARCH; STEP UP AWARENESS, EARLY DETECTION EFFORTS
BOSTON ? In honor of Father?s Day, Senator John Kerry today called on Congress to lead the charge against prostate cancer in African-American men. Kerry introduced a senate resolution recognizing that prostate cancer has created a health crisis for African-American men who have a 60 percent higher rate of prostate cancer than any other racial and ethnic group in America.
The resolution, S. RES xxx, urges Federal agencies to designate additional funding for research to address and attempt to end the health crisis created by prostate cancer. Additional funding would also be used for educational outreach, to increase awareness and for early detection efforts at the grassroots level.
Senator Kerry, a prostate cancer survivor, has long been an outspoken supporter of prostate cancer awareness, research and early detection.
?Prostate cancer is a silent plague within the African-American community,? said Sen. Kerry. ?We?ve got to stop this deadly disease from taking our fathers, brothers and sons and we can do that by continuing to fund research and by arming all Americans with the tools to detect, cure and treat it.?
Kerry?s calls were echoed by Thomas Farrington, the founder of the Prostate Health Education Network (PHEN), a Boston based non-profit organization that aims to increase prostate health education and awareness among African-American men.
?Senator Kerry is a fellow survivor and friend who recognizes the African American prostate cancer crisis. He helps PHEN host, and he regularly participates in the annual ?African American Prostate Cancer Disparity Summit? on Capitol Hill. This resolution with Senator Kerry's leadership will give this pressing health issue the visibility and support it needs to be properly addressed,? said Farrington.
?The fight against prostate cancer is personal for Tom and me,? said Kerry. ?It took Tom?s father and both of his grandfathers. And it took my father, Richard. Their cancers were caught too late, but Tom and I were able to survive our own bouts with cancer thanks to excellent care, early detection and a lot of good luck. My goal in this fight is to spare people the suffering that my father and Tom?s father went through.?
Prostate cancer affects thousands of American men each year and is currently the second leading cause of cancer deaths. It strikes one in every six men, making it even more prevalent than breast cancer, which strikes one in every seven women. Last year alone more than 186,000 men were diagnosed with prostate cancer and more than 28,000 men died from the disease.
African-American men have the highest incidence and mortality rate among any other racial or ethnic group. They are dying at a rate of 140 percent - almost two and a half times higher than other groups.
The resolution is co-sponsored by Senators Barbara Boxer (D-CA), Roland Burris (D-IL), Ben Cardin (D-MD), Mary Landrieu (D-LA), and xxxxxxxxxx