BALTIMORE, March 5, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- The American Urological Association (AUA) today announced its support for the Veterans Prostate Cancer Treatment and Research Act, introduced on March 5 by Rep. Neal Dunn, MD (R-FL-3) and Rep. Joe Cunningham (D-SC-1). This important bill supports the development and implementation of a Veterans Health Administration (VHA) healthcare program focused on coordinated and comprehensive care for veterans with prostate cancer.
Prostate cancer is the most common non-skin cancer in American men, and the most commonly diagnosed cancer among U.S. veterans. The American Cancer Society estimates that 1 in 9 men will be diagnosed during their lifetime; in 2019 alone, nearly 175,000 men will be diagnosed and more than 31,000 will die from the disease. Furthermore, the National Institutes of Health reports that prostate cancer is the most common cancer diagnosed in the Veterans Health Administration (VHA).
Despite these disturbing national statistics, there is no national clinical pathway for prostate cancer care. The VHA has unparalleled systems and data resources, and is uniquely capable of creating a true learning healthcare system to tackle its most common cancer diagnosis – leading to models that have the potential to affect all men.
The Veterans Prostate Cancer Treatment and Research Act specifically requires the VHA to:
- Create a national prostate cancer clinical pathway to cover the disease from screening to end of life, and update it as needed. The pathway would strive to reflect relevant prostate cancer care guidelines.
- Develop a national prostate cancer care implementation program. This would be administered by a nationally recognized leader in prostate cancer care who would coordinate efforts across relevant VA entities, measure prostate cancer quality and costs and create a national prostate cancer education plan aimed at administrators, providers and patients.
- Design a Prostate Cancer Registry and Research Program. The aim of the program is to evaluate all aspects of the disease continuum from screening to end-of-life care, define optimal ways to implement recommended guidelines, coordinate care, discover new insights into treatment of the disease and evaluate the comparative effectiveness of existing treatments for health services, basic science, as well as translational medicine and clinical trials.
"The VHA – as a national system for healthcare delivery – is perfectly positioned to create this program," said AUA President John H. Lynch, MD. "We'd like to thank Dr. Dunn and Rep. Cunningham for introducing this very important bill to help understand how we can define and deliver optimal care for men with prostate cancer."
The AUA is proud to support this important piece of legislation, which we believe will standardize treatment options and result in improved outcomes for prostate cancer patients.
About the American Urological Association: Founded in 1902 and headquartered near Baltimore, Maryland, the American Urological Association is a leading advocate for the specialty of urology, and has more than 22,000 members throughout the world. The AUA is a premier urologic association, providing invaluable support to the urologic community as it pursues its mission of fostering the highest standards of urologic care through education, research and the formulation of health policy.
Wendy Isett, AUA
SOURCE American Urological Association