By Ramsey Cox
S.Res. 529 was co-sponsored by Sens. Daniel Akaka (D-Hawaii), Ben Cardin (D-Md.), Saxby Chambliss (R-Ga.), Daniel Inouye (D-Hawaii) and Ron Wyden (D-Ore.).
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.