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House of Representatives
Session of 2015 - 2016 Regular Session


Posted: February 6, 2015 01:23 PM
From: Representative Ed Gainey and Rep. Rob W. Kauffman
To: All House members
Subject: Legislation to Establish a Prostate Cancer Taskforce
In the near future, both we intend to introduce legislation directing the Pennsylvania Department of Health to establish a Prostate Cancer Taskforce.

Many of you may be surprised to learn that prostate cancer has similar incidence and mortality rates as breast cancer (with 1 in 6 men diagnosed) and is the most common type of cancer detected in men living in Pennsylvania. In fact, over the past year, more than 10,000 men have been diagnosed with prostate cancer and an additional four men will die from this terrible disease every day (this translates into almost 1,300 men per year). While Pennsylvania’s healthcare professionals are certainly cognizant that poor prostate health can greatly diminish a man’s quality of life, the fact of the matter is that this information seldom makes headlines and is not included (as much as it should or could be) as part of the overall public health policy discussion. In realization of this lack of awareness, the need to further highlight the subject of prostate cancer and related prostate conditions is paramount.

The primary intent of this legislation is to provide our Commonwealth’s populace with a greater degree of public awareness concerning the prevalence of and measures available to detect, diagnose and treat prostate cancer and related chronic prostate conditions. It is also intended to ensure that:
  • Medical professionals, insurers, patients and governmental agencies are educated about screening, diagnosis and treatment options;
  • Medical professionals provide patients with sufficient information about treatment options to enable patients to make an informed choice as part of informed consent and to respect the autonomy of choice; and
  • Pennsylvania government agencies provide unbiased information regarding multiple standards of care.
Specifically, this legislation directs the Department of Health to establish a 19-member task force on prostate cancer and related chronic prostate conditions for the purpose of fostering awareness and education, investigating areas of concern and making practical recommendations to remedy and forestall them. Within one year of its first meeting, the task force will be charged with issuing a report with recommendations to the Secretary of Health and submitting copies of the report to the Public Health and Welfare Committee of the Senate and the Health Committee of the House of Representatives. The members of the task force shall receive no compensation for their services but shall only be allowed their actual and necessary expenses incurred in performance of their duties, similar to other task forces in the Commonwealth.
Therefore, if you also share our sentiment in making the subject of prostate cancer awareness a priority in Pennsylvania, we ask that you please join us as co-sponsors of this vitally important measure.

Should you have any questions regarding this legislation, please contact Stephanie Hardman-Dicks at 717.783.1017 or SHardman@pahouse.net or Elana Maynard at 717.705.2004 or EMaynard@pahousegop.com.

Introduced as HB804