Health Care Reform Highlights Need for Better Screening and Prevention
Foundation for Improving Prostate Imaging Technology Praises House Committee for Hearing
AdMeTech Foundation announced today that its President and CEO Dr. Faina Shtern will testify on March 4 before the U.S. House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform on how health care reform highlights the need for increased funding for research aimed at creating accurate, life-saving diagnostic tools for prostate cancer, which will improve screening, prevention, early detection and reduce health costs.
Dr. Shtern, a leader over the past 20 years in the development of advanced breast cancer imaging and other technologies, will testify that the development of accurate diagnostic tools is critical for ending prostate cancer crisis in this country. She praised Chairman Ed Towns (D-NY), Committee Ranking Member Darrell Issa (R-CA), and Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-MD) for bringing prostate cancer issues, such as diagnosis, treatment and a disproportionate impact on African American men, to the national stage.
"The primary goal of health care reform is to guarantee access to high quality health care for millions of Americans while reducing health costs through improved screening, prevention and early detection. However, current diagnostic tools for prostate cancer are so unreliable that they lead to a compromised quality of life in millions of men and add billions of dollars to health care costs," Dr. Shtern said. "The hearing on March 4 is a great step toward recognition of the prostate cancer crisis on Capitol Hill."
Prostate cancer is the most common major cancer in the United States and the second most lethal cancer in men. A man is diagnosed every 2.5 minutes, and the incidence has increased seven fold in men aged 50 and younger, and tripled in men aged 50 to 59 since 1986. A man dies every 19 minutes from prostate cancer, even though prostate cancer can be cured when detected early.
Existing prostate diagnostics, such as prostate specific antigen (PSA) biomarker and digital rectal exam cause widespread underdiagnosis, overdiagnosis and overtreatment, with dire human and societal costs. Current diagnostics miss and/or underestimate the extent or aggressiveness of prostate cancer and lead to treatment failures in as many as half of all men. False diagnostic alarms result in a staggering extent of unnecessary biopsies and treatment, costing billions of dollars each year. Up to 88 percent of all biopsies – performed on more than 1 million men blindly and randomly each year – do not show prostate cancer. As many as 54 percent of men with early prostate cancer undergo unnecessary treatment and are left with life-altering complications, such as incontinence and impotence. Improved diagnostic tools, including more specific versions of biomarkers and advanced imaging tools to guide biopsies and treatment, will save lives, enable the least invasive and the most effective patient care, reduce unnecessary procedures, and decrease health care costs.