April 21, 2015
Prostate Cancer and Breast Cancer Communities Host Joint Briefing Event on Capitol Hill
Members of the Congressional Men’s Health Caucus joined advocacy groups to discuss common ground
(Washington, DC) – Cancer experts, survivors, physicians, health care professionals, and advocates from leading patient organizations joined members of the Congressional Men’s Health Caucus and legislative staff on April 16 to discuss common ground between Prostate Cancer and Breast Cancer – two leading forms of cancer diagnosed in men and women in the U.S. The briefing was held on Capitol Hill and featured multiple presentations along with remarks by Congressman Donald Payne, Jr. (NJ), who serves as Co-Chair of the Congressional Men’s Health Caucus (MHC), along with Congressman Markwayne Mullin (OK).
1 in 2 men and 1 in 3 women will be diagnosed with cancer at some point in their lifetime. For men, prostate cancer has the highest prevalence and for women, breast cancer has the highest prevalence. Both cancers share many commonalities, including the difficulties associated with diagnosis, deciding on treatment options, and the role family and friends play in supporting patients. An article discussing the similarities between these two cancers can be found here.
“Fighting cancer requires sustained efforts at all levels to raise awareness and ensure individuals and their families have high quality and affordable access to screening and treatment,” said Congressman Payne, Jr. “That’s why this briefing—which brought together physicians, researchers, advocates, and survivors—was so important. I thank everyone who joined us to share their ideas, insights, and expertise. We all have a responsibility to protect the health of all people, and together, I’m confident we can continue to find ways to increase awareness about cancer and combat this disease.”
The briefing included these panelists: William L. Dahut, M.D., National Cancer Institute Senior Investigator, Genitourinary Malignancies Branch Head, Prostate Cancer Clinical Research Section CCR Clinical Director, Center for Cancer Research; Brandon Leonard, MA, Director, Strategic Initiatives, Men's Health Network; Elizabeth Battaglino, RN, CEO, Healthy Women; Robert Ginyard (Prostate Cancer survivor); and Lysette House (Breast Cancer survivor).
“We were pleased to see so much interest in this panel,” said Mr. Leonard. “Everyone is affected by cancer, either personally or through someone close to them. Hearing about these powerful patient stories, developments in life-saving research, tireless work by advocacy organizations and support from our Congressional champions helps to reaffirm our strengths in the fight against cancer.”
In addition to the Men’s Health Caucus, the event was sponsored by the Prostate Cancer Task Force, Men’s Health Network, American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN), HealthyWomen, and ZERO – The End of Prostate Cancer.
“It was wonderful to have the opportunity to join MHN and Congressional Men's Caucus to discuss the crucial role a support network plays after a breast and or prostate cancer diagnosis at all ages and stages of a woman/man’s life,” said Ms. Battaglino. “Partners, friends, and family who get involved in the decision-making process and learn how to actively care can make such a difference in how a cancer patients deals with their diagnosis. It’s important to remember that people do not and should not go through cancer alone.”
The briefing closed with remarks and Q&A about living with cancer and how we can improve diagnosis and treatment options for thousands of Americans impacted each year by Prostate Cancer and Breast Cancer.
"It was great to be a part of this discussion; as a prostate cancer survivor, it's important that we address the health concerns of men so that they can make informed decisions about their well-being,” said Robert Ginyard. “I think today's discussion answered many questions men have about prostate cancer and encouraged them to talk about a disease that is seldom talked about.”
“I was honored to be able to share my story,” said Lysette House. “I know from my experience as a caregiver and a young breast cancer patient that you have to be your own advocate. I spent three years badgering and pestering doctors to just get a comprehensive mammogram. Routinely, I was assured that I was just being paranoid. As many of the presenters discussed, there are too often stark challenges to accessing the appropriate preventive and screening services that go along with many of the challenges patients face upon receiving a cancer diagnosis."
Men's Health Network (MHN) is an international non-profit organization whose mission is to reach men, boys, and their families where they live, work, play, and pray with health awareness messages and tools, screening programs, educational materials, advocacy opportunities, and patient navigation. Learn more about MHN at www.menshealthnetwork.org and follow them on Twitter @MensHlthNetwork or Facebook at www.facebook.com/menshealthnetwork