Every day, millions of men, women, children and their families suffer in silence with debilitating urologic conditions. And as the Baby Boomer generation ages, the number of people facing these conditions will grow rapidly. Now is the time to advocate for programs and research to advance urologic health.
While certain urology-related issues will affect some more than others, the willingness to champion issues for the greater common good is a cause and challenge that must be met.
We cannot accomplish our mission alone, however hard we may try. The Urology Care Foundation works hand-in-hand with the AUA and other patient and advocacy organizations to build our strength in numbers. Many advocates both inside and outside of the urology and disease-specific world have worked tirelessly to further our cause. Whether it is through attending meetings on Capitol Hill with AUA members, writing letters of support to Congress for other advocacy organizations, participation in the AUA's Joint Advocacy Conference or activities during the Congressional Black Caucus week in September, no effort is too little. Change can be facilitated by anyone, anywhere. Advocates are people who simply chose to rise above themselves and take on the broader concerns of all humanity. Are you willing to join us? To join Urology Care Foundation's advocacy network, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
AUA and Urology Care Foundation Speak Out Against USPSTF Recommindations on Prostate Cancer Testing
On May 21, 2012, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) released final recommendations against prostate-specific antigen (PSA)-based screening for prostate cancer, asserting that there is "moderate or high certainty that the service has no net benefit or that the harms outweigh the benefits," and discouraged the use of the test by issuing it a Grade D rating.
The AUA and the AUA's Foundation believe that the Task Force is doing men a great disservice by disparaging what is now the only widely available test for prostate cancer, a potentially devastating disease. The PSA test is not perfect. However, when results are read appropriately, this blood test gives important information to help diagnose, assess the risk of, and monitor prostate cancer.
But not all prostate cancers are life-threatening. The decision to proceed to active treatment or use surveillance for a patient's prostate cancer is one that men should discuss in detail with their urologists.
Learn more about this issue, and find out what you can do:
Dr. John Lynch speaks out against USPSTF recommendations.
Dr. J. Brantley Thrasher speaks out against USPSTF recommendations.
On October 14, 2011 the AUA issued an audio news release to 200 radio stations and networks around the country. To date, the release has been aired more than 4,000 times and has reached more than 16 million Americans.
Advocacy and the Urology Care Foundation in UrologyHealth extra®
Learn more about why advocacy is important and how you have the power to cause change:
- Click here to read the article "The Power of the Public" from the Spring 2008 edition of UrologyHealth extra®.
- Click here to read the article "Leaving Your Mark: Becoming an Advocate" from the Fall 2009 edition of UrologyHealth extra®.
Read about advocacy initiatives led by Pro Football Hall of Famers Mike Haynes and Willie Lanier in collaboration with the Urology Care Foundation:
- Click here for the article "AUA and Urology Care Foundation Promote Prostate Cancer Awareness on Capitol Hill" from the Winter 2009/2010 edition of UrologyHealth extra®.
- Click here for the article "Urology Care Foundation Advocates for Prostate Cancer Awareness on Capitol Hill" from the Spring 2010 edition of UrologyHealth extra®.
Currently, the following pieces of legislation are among those supported by the Urology Care Foundation:
The PROSTATE Act
Prostate cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death among men. In 2010, more than 217,730 new patients were diagnosed with prostate cancer and more than 32,000 men died from this disease. Roughly 2,000,000 Americans are living with a diagnosis of prostate cancer and its consequences. Causes of prostate cancer are not known. There are no treatments that can durably arrest growth or cure prostate cancer once it has metastasized. Additionally, there is not sufficient information regarding how to differentiate accurately, early on, between aggressive and indolent forms of the disease. As a result, there is significant overtreatment in prostate cancer. More accurate tests would allow men and their families to face less physical, psychological, financial, and emotional trauma, and billions of dollars could be saved in private and public health care systems.
Prostate cancer research and health care programs across Federal agencies should be coordinated to improve accountability and actively encourage the translation of research into practice, to identify and implement best practices, in order to foster an integrated and consistent focus on effective prevention, diagnosis and treatment of this disease.
The Prostate Act of 2011 calls for the formation of a federal Interagency Task Force to align current prostate cancer programs of the Departments of Veterans' Affairs, Defense and Health and Human Services to ensure cost-effective use of current resources and to identify where research and best practice call for a more intense focus.
A Bill to Establish a National Commission on Urotrauma
Injury to urogenital organs accounts for up to 10% of all war injuries in Iraq and Afghanistan. As battlefield rescues increase, more returning service personnel—particularly those who are victims of Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs)—are living with lifelong traumatic injuries, including impotence, infertility and incontinence, and the resulting mental and emotional issues that such injuries bring. Many victims lack access to knowledge of the most effective treatments. Additionally, more information needs to be gathered on the use of modern body armor in the prevention or minimization of genitourinary injury and to encourage improvements in the design of body armor to better protect the genitourinary area.
This bill establishes a National Commission on Urotrauma which will:
- Conduct a comprehensive study of the present state of knowledge of the incidence, duration and morbidity of, and mortality rates resulting from urotrauma and of the social, mental and economic impact of such conditions;
- Evaluate the public and private facilities and resources (including trained personnel and research activities) for the diagnosis, prevention and treatment of, and research in, such conditions; and
- Identify programs (including biological, behavioral, environmental and social programs) in which, and the means by which, improvement in the management of urotrauma can be accomplished.
Write to Congress
You can urge Congress to promote urologic health! Let your representatives know that you support the PROSTATE Act of 2011; a bill to establish a National Commission on Urotrauma; and other important urologic issues. Simply enter your ZIP Code into the box and click "GO".
Help Protect Federal Research Funding
Federal research funding for prostate cancer accounts for around $400 million per year. The Prostate Cancer Research Program at the Department of Defense has received about $80 million per year since 2001. Funding at the PCRP has accelerated the clinical trial process for several drugs over the past couple of years including the recently approved Zytiga and several other drugs currently in Phase III clinical trials.
PCRP funding also can jump start new innovative research that can be further developed with NIH funds because the program focuses on high-risk, high-reward research that has not traditionally been funded through NIH grants. Despite the great promise this program brings to prostate cancer patients, some in Congress want to eliminate it.
Email your Representative today to ask that they sign the King-Jackson dear colleague letter to continue funding the Prostate Cancer Research Program.
National Urology Research Agenda (NURA)
In 2010, the Urology Care Foundation published the National Urology Research Agenda (NURA) to outline research priorities in urology. This document not only serves as a guideline for medical professionals and researchers, but also directs lawmakers, urology health advocates and the general public to prioritize funding allocations for the most necessary areas in urology research.
To download a copy of the NURA, please click here