Men's Health Network

P. O. Box 770 : Washington, D.C. 20044-0770

(202) 543-MHN-1 (6461) :  www.menshealthnetwork.org : men@menshealthnetwork.org

 

Prostate Cancer Awareness Week: Texas and Florida

 

There is good news to report about men’s health initiatives. In 1995, recognizing that diseases of the prostate are a major health hazard for men and their families, the Texas Legislature passed a resolution (SCR 136 by Senator Sibley) designating the week beginning with Fathers Day as Texas Prostate Cancer Awareness Week. This week follows the yearly recognition of National Men's Health Week, the week leading up to and including Father’s Day.

A bill authorizing the establishment of a Task Force to promote prostate cancer awareness was also passed. Texas Prostate Cancer Awareness Week and the establishment of the Task Force were supported by the Men's Health Network (MHN), Men’s HOTLINE, and other organizations.

At the encouragement of Jim Bracewell and the Orlando Men’s Council, Governor Lawton Chiles of Florida issued a proclamation on May 10, 1996 establishing the week beginning with Father’s Day as Prostate Cancer Awareness Week in Florida. The Florida Cancer Data System reports that prostate cancer is the leading cause of death among Florida men, with 2500 men dying each year from the disease.

National Men's Health Week

On May 24, 1994, Congress passed National Men's Health Week (NMHW), a week to focus on the health needs of men and to promote preventative health measures. Preventative health care is cost effective and enables individuals to lead healthy, productive lives. To quote Jean Bonhomme, M.D., President of the Black Men’s Health Network and a member of the Board of Advisors of the Men’s Health Network:

The financial and emotional costs to society of unnecessary morbidity and mortality among men are staggering, and getting men to become more aware of their own health problems would pay dividends to society as a whole and not just to men alone.

Each year, National Men's Health Week is the week leading up to and including Father’s Day. NMHW can be found in the Congressional Record of the 103rd Congress at pages H3905-3906 (May 24, 1994) and was promoted by the Men's Health Network, the supervising agency of the Men/Fathers HOTLINE. Senator Dole (R-KS) and Representative Bob Richardson (D-NM) joined in a bipartisan effort to pass NMHW. To quote Rep. Richardson from the Congressional Record:

Because of its impact on wives, mothers, daughters, and sisters, men's health is truly a family issue.

Men’s Healthline

In order to give men a comfortable place to start the journey to a health lifestyle, the Men’s Health Network has established the Men’s Healthline for men to call and obtain information about male-specific diseases. The Men’s Healthline is answered in Washington, DC.

 

 

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SCR 136, Texas Prostate Cancer Awareness Week

By Senator David Sibley (R-Waco)

SENATE CONCURRENT RESOLUTION

WHEREAS, Each year 13,000 men in Texas are diagnosed with prostate cancer, causing it to be a major public health problem; and

WHEREAS, Prostate cancer is the second leading cause of cancer deaths for Texas men, with 2,200 men dying each year or about 11 percent of all cancer deaths among men in Texas; and

WHEREAS, Early detection of prostate cancer is critical to the preservation of life and health care strategies for those at risk of prostate cancer; and

WHEREAS, The American Cancer Society recommends that every man age 40 and older should have a digital rectal examination as part of his regular annual physical checkup, and every man age 50 and older should have an annual prostate-specific antigen blood test; and

WHEREAS, The American Cancer Society reports that survival rates for all stages of prostate cancer have steadily improved, increasing from 50 percent to 80 percent in the past 30 years; and

WHEREAS, African-American Texans have the highest incidence of and mortality rates from prostate cancer; and

WHEREAS, It is in the public interest of this state to promote public awareness of the benefits and values of the early detection, prevention, and treatment of prostate cancer; and

WHEREAS, Improved public awareness of the disparity in funding for prostate cancer research, as compared to the research funding for other major killer diseases, will help bring a halt to this inequity and thereby save men's lives; and

WHEREAS, The Congress of the United States of America has designated a week as Prostate Cancer Awareness Week in an effort to promote education, awareness, and understanding of this disease, and it is appropriate for the Lone Star State to join men, their families, and loved ones throughout Texas in recognizing the importance of this disease; now, therefore, be it

RESOLVED, That the 74th Legislature of the State of Texas hereby designate the week of each year that begins with Father's Day as Texas Prostate Cancer Awareness Week, to promote the early detection and treatment of prostate cancer, for the preservation of lives, and to encourage men to have an annual examination.

George W. Bush

Governor

(signed June 16, 1995)

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