WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Jerry Moran (R-Kan.) and Jon Tester (D-Mont.) – ranking member and chairman of the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee – this week introduced legislation to expand treatment and research of prostate cancer to help diagnose and treat veterans through the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).
“Prostate cancer is currently the number one cancer diagnosed by the Veterans Health Administration,” said Sen. Moran. “Early detection of prostate cancer should be a priority of the VA, and this legislation will help support critical research and expedite prostate cancer diagnosis and treatment among veterans.”
“With hundreds of thousands of veterans suffering from prostate cancer a year, VA needs a standardized pathway to increase detection and treatment of this disease as early as possible,” said Sen. Tester. “Our bipartisan bill will help support critical, science-driven research that’ll lead to earlier detections and save veterans’ lives.”
The Veterans’ Prostate Cancer Treatment and Research Act would:
- Expand upon the current VA and Prostate Cancer Foundation partnership.
- Require the VA to establish and publish an interdisciplinary clinical diagnosis and treatment pathway in the VA National Surgery Office, in collaboration with the VA National Program Office of Oncology, the VA Office of Research and Development and VA Primary Care for all stages of prostate cancer, from early detection to end of life care.
- Give the VA the authority to collaborate with other research entities on creation of clinical pathway including the National Institutes of Health, National Cancer Institute, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, U.S. Food and Drug Administration, Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) and the Department of Defense.
- Require the VA to establish a prostate cancer program utilizing the clinical pathway mandated in this legislation, which will receive direct oversight from the VA Undersecretary of Health, include yearly program implementation evaluation, be metric and data driven, and include an education plan for patients and providers.
- Direct the VA to produce a plan to Congress detailing funding through the VA Office of Research and Development for supporting prostate cancer research to make certain no funding included is duplicative.
- Direct the VA to submit a report to Congress on the barriers and challenges associated with creating a national prostate cancer registry to include recommendations for centralizing data about veterans with prostate cancer in an effort to improve outcomes and research.
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