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U.S. Representatives Urge Critical Improvements in Prostate Cancer Detection
Date:2/11/2008

Bipartisan support calls for increased federal funding to improve prostate cancer imaging

WASHINGTON, Feb. 11 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Over 20 U.S. representatives (see note 1) urged the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and National Institutes of Health (NIH) to assign an "explicit high priority" in the current for research and development of imaging technologies to improve early detection and treatment of prostate cancer. Such a federal investment in prostate cancer, a disease that strikes a man every 2.5 minutes and kills a man every 18 minutes, would save millions of lives and billions of dollars. Prostate cancer has become more common than breast cancer, yet advanced diagnostic imaging technologies comparable to mammograms remain unavailable.

In a letter sent to HHS Secretary Michael Leavitt and NIH Director Elias Zerhouni, the representatives stated:

"Life-saving breakthroughs in screening, diagnosis, and treatment of breast cancer resulted from the development of advanced imaging technologies led by the Federal Government. It is now time for our Government to lead the way so that men will have accurate and affordable prostate cancer screening exams and similar minimally-invasive treatment tools."

"The funding of imaging research that will lead to more accurate detection and diagnoses of prostate cancer could eventually save tens of thousands of lives a year," said Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-MD) who coordinated the letter initiative. "Current treatment for prostate cancer costs our health care system $8 billion a year, and an additional $2 billion is spent on unnecessary biopsies. Sadly, it's also spent on care for those whose diagnosis was missed and who are in the end stages of this deadly disease. We know we are within reach of developing state-of-the-art imaging technology, and making federal funding for this kind of research a priority will give men the information they need to make informed decision
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SOURCE AdMeTech Foundation
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