S.Res. 529 was co-sponsored by Sens. Daniel Akaka (D-Hawaii), Ben CardinBen CardinDemocrats step up calls that Russian hack was act of war Making water infrastructure a priority Senators introduce new Iran sanctions MORE (D-Md.), Saxby ChamblissSaxby ChamblissWyden hammers CIA chief over Senate spying Cruz is a liability Inside Paul Ryan’s brain trust MORE (R-Ga.), Daniel Inouye (D-Hawaii) and Ron WydenRon WydenThe Hill’s Whip List: Where Dems stand on Trump’s Supreme Court nominee Overnight Regulation: Senate moves to strike Obama-era internet privacy rules Overnight Tech: Senate votes to eliminate Obama internet privacy rules | FCC chief wants to stay out of 'political debate' on fake news | Wikileaks reveals new CIA docs MORE (D-Ore.).

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“Prostate cancer is an epidemic – it kills every 16 minutes,” Kerry said. “This disease killed my dad, but I was lucky to beat it ten years ago, and 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. I’ve been through the battle against prostate cancer and I understand the strain a diagnosis places on the patient and their loved ones.”

Other sponsors of the measure — which passed by unanimous consent — are also prostate cancer survivors. 

“I understand firsthand the importance of prevention, testing and early detection,” said Chambliss, who successfully battled prostate cancer. “While prostate cancer affects all men, the National Institutes of Health has found that it disproportionately affects minorities, and African Americans in particular.”

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) has found that although the prostate cancer death rate has declined for both white men and African American men in recent years, the disparity in deaths from this disease persists. The organization is sponsoring research to determine what factors could be contributing to the higher incidence and death rates among African American men.

Cardin’s office said the research shows that even after accounting for those who lack health insurance, minority racial and ethnic groups face inequities in access and treatment and preventative care. Cardin wrote provisions in the Affordable Care Act that elevated the new Institute of Minority Health and Health Disparities at NIH, to help eliminate those health disparities.

“Preventive healthcare saves lives, and it is particularly effective in reducing mortality for prostate cancer,” Cardin said.