Tester introduces legislation to combat prostate cancer

Senator's bipartisan measure would coordinate research, aggressively treat leading cancer among Montana men

(WASHINGTON, D.C.) – Senator Jon Tester today introduced legislation to coordinate widespread research and improve treatment of prostate cancer, the leading cancer killer of Montana men.

Tester’s bipartisan Prostate Cancer Act would streamline and expand the prostate cancer research underway at the Departments of Defense, Health and Human Services, and Veterans Affairs.  The measure would specifically strengthen research on improvements or alternatives to current screening tests and help develop methods to distinguish between different forms of prostate cancer.

The legislation would also establish an interagency task force, led by the Department of Veterans’ Affairs, to eliminate duplication of work between agencies in the field of prostate cancer research and treatment.

Dr. Bruce Robertson, a Bozeman Urologist, says Tester’s measure will make important prostate cancer research more effective.

“I see the effects of prostate cancer on Montanans every day and I know that Senator Tester’s bill will help us get a better handle on this disease in the long run ,” Robertson said.  “With better-focused and coordinated research, we will be one step closer to finding more effective treatment for this cancer that so many Montana families find themselves facing.”

“This disease affects too many Montana families, and we’ve got to confront it,” Tester said.  “These are some common sense steps to make sure we’re using all the tools available to us to help folks facing this cancer, and that taxpayer dollars are going as far as possible in getting those results.”

The Prostate Cancer Act also:

  • Establishes tele-health projects in rural areas and communities with high veterans populations to boost efficient use of specialist care and more effectively use “tumor boards” to counsel patients using technology
  • Develops a national education campaign encouraging men to be screened for prostate cancer
  • Opens up grants for effective research into the disease

Tester’s bill is supported by the Montana Medical Association, Veterans of Foreign Wars, the Prostate Cancer Foundation, Men’s Health Network, and several medical associations, including the American Urological Association.

Research shows that residents in rural areas and veterans are especially impacted with rates of prostate cancer.

Tester’s Prostate Cancer Act—which comes as the nation observes Prostate Cancer Awareness Month in September—is S. 3775.  The legislation is available online HERE.