Senator continues efforts on health education
Washington, DC â?? Americans need to pay closer attention to their health, and Idaho Senator Mike Crapo has focused on two efforts on Capitol Hill to bring attention to two health conditions that can be diagnosed in the early stages. The Senate adopted a resolution that recognizes September as National Prostate Cancer Awareness Month. Crapo, who is a prostate cancer survivor, co-sponsored the resolution and was recently awarded the William A. Schwartz Distinguished Leadership by National Prostate Cancer Coalition (NPCC). In addition, Crapo is supporting a resolution that calls attention to Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), which is the fourth leading cause of death and disability in the U.S. The resolution designates November 2003 as COPD Awareness Month. This resolution has not yet been voted on by the Senate.â??While a Senate resolution is not a cure-all for reducing deaths from these two diseases, it serves as a reminder to people that they need to pay attention to their health,â?? Crapo explained. â??Thousands of people die each year from prostate cancer and COPD, and by bringing the attention of the U.S. Senate to the diseases, we have the ability to focus the public on them. Prevention and early detection can only happen with increased public awareness, and both of these diseases can be treated successfully if diagnosed early.â?? Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease is an umbrella term used to describe the airflow obstruction that is associated mainly with emphysema and chronic bronchitis. Deaths from COPD have steadily increased in the past ten years, with the death rate for women with COPD surpassing the death rate for men. It is estimated that 13.3 million in the U.S. have been diagnosed with some form of COPD, with as many as 24 million more undiagnosed. COPD also accounts for 1.5 million emergency room visits and 8 million physician office and hospital outpatient visits each year.Prostate cancer is the leading cause of cancer deaths in men and accounted for over 30,000 deaths last year. The average American man has a 30% chance of developing this cancer in his lifetime. Crapo was diagnosed with and treated for prostate cancer in January of 2000; he remains cancer-free and receives regular check-ups. Since his diagnosis, he has become a strong advocate for early detection. He teamed up with former Senator Bob Dole to record public service announcements about early detection, which aired in Idaho. He is in his third year of sponsoring the Mike Crapo Health Awareness Booths at local fairs in Idaho where hundreds of early detection tests for prostate cancer (PSA tests, prostate specific antigen) have been performed for free or at a reduced cost.# # #FOR INTERESTED MEDIA: A radio actuality is available by calling 1-800-545-1267. Press 327 at any time during or after the greeting and instructions. You can also access the actuality through the Internet at http://crapo.senate.gov or www.senate.gov/src/radio.