The Annual Prostate Cancer Awareness Day (PCAD) at the Massachusetts State House was established in September 2009. This event resulted in the rapidly growing recognition of prostate cancer as a public health priority and support for increased research funding for the advancement of early diagnosis and treatment among key legislators in the Massachusetts General Court and US Congress.
To expedite transfer of the most current advances in prostate cancer care and research to clinics so that men, their caregivers and doctors will be empowered to make more informed and shared decisions on screening, diagnosis and treatment.
- The Massachusetts General Court and the Boston City Council has recognized prostate cancer as a public health priority, major area of health care disparity and central issue in men’s health.
- The key health care stakeholders have been brought together to develop and implement a state-wide program for prostate cancer research, integrated with education and awareness, with the focus on saving lives and improving quality of life in high-risk populations, particularly in men with Black (including Hispanic) heritage, family history and increasing age.
- Public-public partnerships have been created and expanded to support research, education, clinical testing and implementation of the innovative methods of screening, early diagnosis and treatment.
- The First Global Summit on Precision Diagnosis for Prostate Cancer was held in September 2016, educated the key healthcare stakeholders about the transformational impact of novel diagnostic tools on patient care and identified breakthrough areas of research. The findings and recommendations of the Summit have been highlighted by the Vice President Joseph Biden’s Cancer Moonshot program in Washington, DC in April 2017.
Rationale and Background
Annual Prostate Cancer Awareness Day (PCAD) has been established in 2009 and resulted in the rapidly growing legislative support for improved early diagnosis and treatment:
Since June 2010 – Governors Deval Patrick and Charlie Baker recognized PCAD as the Prostate Cancer Awareness Day for Massachusetts.
September 2011 – Mike Milbury, a Boston Bruins icon and a brother of prostate cancer survivor joined PCAD. A historic national precedent has been set, when the State Senate President and Speaker of the House led legislative recognition of prostate cancer as a public health priority and major health care disparity and called for improved early detection.
June 2012 – Senator John Kerry (D-MA) and Senator Scott Brown (R-MA) were featured. This event has had a direct impact on the introduction and support of major legislation in US Congress:
1) June 14, 2012 – Senator Kerry led the bipartisan Prostate Cancer Resolution (S. 529) recognizing prostate cancer as a health care crisis in African-American men and calling for increased national investment in diagnostic tools for early detection, including imaging and biomarkers (passed on July 27, 2012);
2) June 27, 2012 – Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA) and Representative Elijah Cummings (D-MD), jointly with Sen. Kerry, introduced the $180 million Prostate Cancer Detection Research Act in honor of PCAD 2012. This legislation called for the development and implementation of a national research strategy for the advancement of early diagnosis.
September 2013 – Bill Rodgers, Marathon Legend and prostate cancer survivor, and Aly Raisman, Olympic Champion joined the Senate President, Speaker of the House and other leaders of legislation, advocacy and medicine. PCAD 2013 had led to the state allocation of $1,500.000 for a clinical trial of precision MRI for improved early detection of life-threatening prostate cancer.
June 2014 – Boston Mayor Martin Walsh and Susan Wornick, WCVB/ABC TV icon joined Senate President, Speaker of the House, Bill Rodgers and other state leaders. Governor-elect Charles Baker joined independent, democratic and republican Gubernatorial candidates in creating “We All Agree” video in support of PCAD 2014. This event resulted in the groundbreaking media coverage and $500,000 allocation for the statewide program in awareness and education by the Massachusetts State House. This is the first program in our nation in its focus on prostate cancer in general and high-risk individuals specifically.
April 2015 and March 2016 –Governor Charlie Baker; Senate President Stanley Rosenberg, Speaker of the House Robert DeLeo and other key leaders of legislation; Roderick Ireland, Former MA Chief Justice and Distinguished Professor of Criminology and Criminal Justice, Northeastern University; WCVB-TV’s Karen Holmes Ward; Mallika Marshall, MD, Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School and Health Reporter for WBZ TV, CBS Corporation; Boston Celtics icon Cedric Maxwell, Bill Rodgers, Red Sox’s CEO and prostate cancer survivor Larry Lucchino; New England Area Conference of the NAACP President Juan Cofield, and other dignitaries supported PCAD 2015 and 2016. Leaders of medicine and Massachusetts Medical Society provided education and free counseling to men and their families. This event symbolized the goal of the AdMeTech-led program in education and awareness – To bring the world-class expertise to every man, particularly the most vulnerable and the underserved.
Selected Past and Current Sponsors
This event is organized by AdMeTech Foundation in cooperation with leaders of state legislation, Boston City Council, American Cancer Society’s Cancer Action Network, Massachusetts Prostate Cancer Coalition and Men of Color Health Awareness and other national and regional organizations, including Dana Farber Cancer Institute, Prostate Health Education Network, Whittier Street Health Center, ZERO – The Project to End Prostate Cancer and Us TOO International.