Lawmakers introduce bill aimed at helping with the No.1 cancer diagnosed at VA

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The most commonly diagnosed cancer at VA hospitals nationwide is prostate cancer. Two members of Congress have introduced a bill aimed at helping care for those veterans.

More than 489,000 veterans are currently undergoing treatment at Department of Veterans Affairs facilities for prostate cancer. It's also more common among black veterans and among veterans exposed to toxins, such as Agent Orange. 

On Thursday, Reps. Joe Cunningham, D-S.C., and Neal Dunn, R-Fla., introduced the Veterans Prostate Cancer Treatment and Research Act. 

The bipartisan bill creates a national clinical pathway for prostate cancer, a standardized system of treatment for veterans and establishes a real-time registry to track patients' progress. Standardizing treatment will improve care for veterans and the registry could help patients get better access to "cutting-edge clinical trials," the congressmen said.

“After everything our veterans experience while serving, the last thing they should be faced with is yet another enemy – prostate cancer,” Dunn said in a statement. “The key to overcoming prostate cancer is early detection. Veterans deserve a system that streamlines the pathway from early detection to successful treatment. This bill is a solid first step forward to save fellow veterans' lives and defeat this deadly adversary.”

“Prostate cancer is the most common cancer diagnosis among veterans, and more prevalent among African American veterans than anyone else – one of the many health disparities that African Americans face,” Cunningham said. “This bipartisan legislation will go a long way toward improving health care outcomes for our veterans." 

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Reach Abbie Bennett: or @AbbieRBennett.
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