September 07, 2006

Record Turnouts, Legislation Help Cancer Effort

Crapo bill recognizes September as Prostate Cancer Awareness Month

Washington, DC â?? The effort to fight prostate cancer has gained the support of the United States Senate as record numbers of men and women seek cancer screenings at free and low-cost health booths established by Idaho Senator Mike Crapo. Crapo, a survivor of prostate cancer, established the Mike Crapo Health Awareness Booths at four Idaho fairs to offer screenings. He joined ten fellow Senators in sponsoring a resolution urging increased efforts to fight prostate cancer that was approved unanimously by the Senate.Senate Resolution 552 (S. Res. 552) notes that prostate cancer is the most commonly diagnosed form of cancer behind skin cancer and is the second-leading cause of death in men having cancer. Statistics project that this year 234,460 men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer and 27,350 men will die from it.S. Res. 552 calls on Senate to recognize September 2006 as â??National Prostate Cancer Awareness Month.â?? The resolution also seeks to raise awareness about the importance of screening and treatment of prostate cancer and â??to increase research finding to be proportionate with the burden of prostate cancer so that the causes of the disease, improved screening and treatments, and ultimately a cure may be discovered.â?? The Senateâ??s vote to approve the resolution comes as increasing numbers of Idahoans are seeking screenings. Idahoans are still taking advantage of free and low-cost prostate and breast cancer screenings at the Eastern Idaho State Fair in Blackfoot. But fairs in Filer, Garden City, and Coeur dâ??Alene have already brought record turnouts for screenings. The Health Awareness Booth at the Twin Falls County Fair in Filer set a record this year with 168 screenings. At the Western Idaho Fair in Garden City, 272 people were screened, divided evenly between prostate cancer and breast cancer. The booths also offer checks for cholesterol and high blood pressure. Initial results show the screenings did detect the potential for cancer in some participants.â??I can personally attest to the importance of health screenings, as my own encounter with prostate cancer came from a similar test done long before physical symptoms had occurred,â?? Crapo said. â??Catching it early, the doctors were able to perform necessary surgery and give me a clean bill of health. Had I not had the screening, the outcome may have proven much worse. And screenings must continue even after youâ??ve been given a clean bill of health.â??Crapo added many thanks go to the physicians, volunteers, lab technicians, and health care professionals and their employers that sponsor and contribute to the success of the Mike Crapo Health Awareness Booths. Among the sponsors for this yearâ??s effort are: Qwest, Wal-Mart, the Idaho Association of Nurse Anesthetists, Beckman Coulter, the Cancer Research and Prevention Foundation, Pfizer, Amgen, AstraZeneca, BristolMeyers Squibb, Novartis, Sanofi-Aventis, St. Lukeâ??s Regional Medical Center, Saint Alphonsus Regional Medical Center, Portneuf Medical Center, St. Lukeâ??s Magic Valley Regional Medical Center, St. Lukeâ??s Mountain States Tumor Institute, and Kootenai Medical Center.# # #