S.Res. 529 was co-sponsored by Sens. Daniel Akaka (D-Hawaii), Ben CardinBenjamin (Ben) Louis Cardin Senate Dem hoping Pompeo now has 'greater appreciation' for balancing national security, civil rights Time for the Pentagon to create a system to better track its spending Trump, lawmakers cautious on North Korea signal MORE (D-Md.), Saxby ChamblissClarence (Saxby) Saxby ChamblissLobbying World Former GOP senator: Let Dems engage on healthcare bill OPINION: Left-wing politics will be the demise of the Democratic Party MORE (R-Ga.), Daniel Inouye (D-Hawaii) and Ron WydenRonald (Ron) Lee WydenFacebook faces new crisis over Cambridge Analytica data Cambridge Analytica CEO filmed talking about using bribes, sex workers in political work Cambridge Analytica 'strongly denies' mishandling Facebook users' information MORE (D-Ore.).

“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.