Prostate Cancer Stamp Resource Center

Hot! Prostate Cancer Research Stamp Fails in Congress

"180,000 men will be newly diagnosed with prostate cancer
  this year alone, of which 37,000 will die

Ask for Prostate Cancer Awareness
Stamps at your local post office














Prostate Cancer:
Other Initiative Resources

H.R. 2562 Legislative Info

Rep. Duke Cunningham's Introduction of the Stamp Out Prostate Cancer Research Act (Adobe .pdf)

MHN and other organizations write in support of H.R. 2562  (Adobe .pdf)

 MHN Library of Health Issues

National Prostate Cancer Coalition      

American Foundation for Urologic Disease    

American Urological Association     


American Cancer  Society: Prostate Cancer Resource Center

DHHS/CDC: Prostate Cancer Prevention and Control

NIH Testimony

U-M CCC - Prostate Cancer Home Page

Prostate Cancer and Health Resources

OncoLink: Prostate Cancer

Virgil's On-line Guide to Fighting Prostate  Cancer

American Prostate Society

Prostate Cancer,

 NCCN/AMA Comprehensive Prostate Cancer Treatment Guidelines

PSA-Rising's Prostate Cancer Survivor's News

Menstuff Prostate Cancer Resources

Prostate Cancer and Prostatic Diseases - Online UK Journal (back issues available)

Pacific Northwest National Laboratory's Prostate Cancer Page




One of our major initiatives includes fostering research focused on the understanding of prostate cancer: its causes, preventative measures against  it, and effective diagnosis and treatment procedures. Toward these ends, we thoroughly support the development of a National Prostate Cancer Research Stamp.  Like the educational Prostate Cancer Awareness Stamp, an  example2 of which is illustrated to the left, the Research Stamp targets the fact that about "180,000 men will be newly diagnosed with prostate cancer this year alone, of which 37,000 will die1." Unlike the Awareness Stamp, the Research Stamp would be designed to financially bolster  federally funded research efforts with the goal of eliminating prostate cancer.

The following explains a bit more about these efforts:

Background - Prostate Cancer stamp:

Congressman Randy Cunningham (R-CA) introduced a bill authorizing a prostate cancer research stamp, H.R. 2562, on July 20, 1999. The bill was referred to the House Committee on Government Reform, Subcommittee on Postal Service. H.R. 2562 was described as:

A bill to amend title 39, United States Code, to allow postal patrons to contribute to funding for prostate cancer research through the voluntary purchase of certain specially issued United States postage  stamps.

This proposed legislation was modeled after the successful breast cancer awareness stamp legislation which passed Congress in 1997. The United States Postal Service reported that the "semipostal" breast cancer stamp  raised $7.8 million dollars for breast cancer research in the first year.

The prostate cancer research stamp, different than the current awareness stamp, would give people around the country a simple and effective way to significantly increase funding for federal prostate cancer research. If 200 million stamps were printed, paralleling the breast cancer stamp printing, and all were sold, over $12 million would be raised for prostate  cancer research. The bill proposed that 70% of the money raised will go to the National Institutes of Health and 30% to the Department of Defense Prostate Cancer Research Program, two federal agencies heavily invested  in prostate cancer research.

Sale of the prostate cancer stamp would allow people to turn the simple act of purchasing a stamp into a meaningful and effective way to participate in the fight against prostate cancer.  Purchasing a stamp and placing it on an envelope would give people the very real sense that they are helping save lives while informing their relatives and friends of the need to be aware of this devastating disease. In addition, the stamp would create a better public understanding and awareness of the devastating impact of prostate cancer on men and their families.

Background - Breast Cancer Stamp:

The breast cancer stamp passed Congress and was signed into law in the fall of 1997. The stamp went on sale in mid-1998 and has been a great success with over $8 million raised for research in the first year of sales. Each sheet of 20 stamps includes the National  Cancer Institute's Cancer Information Service number (1-800-4 Cancer) as the call to action and source of information.

It was hoped that passage of H.R. 2562 would find the U.S. Postal Service developing a prostate  cancer promotional campaign much like the successful one they developed for breast cancer. Introduction of the breast cancer stamp was followed immediately by stamp events in hundreds of post offices and continued with  a public service campaign through October, Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Almost all of the 40,000 post office promoted the campaign through posters in their lobbies, distribution of free breast cancer brochures, radio  and television public service announcements and other community outreach activities.


Prostate Cancer Research Stamp Fails in Congress



Why Did the Bill Fail?

But, Why Did the Bill Really Fail?

Wait 'til next year!

What you can do!

Office Of Men's Health





The Stamp Out Prostate Cancer Act, H.R. 2562, failed to pass Congress this year and the decision to issue a Prostate Cancer Research Stamp similar to the Breast Cancer Research Stamp now rests with the Postal Service - or does it?

Our discussions with Representative Cunningham's office indicate that Congress may yet play a part in the issuance of a prostate semi-postal stamp with Cunningham taking the lead in the next Congress. So, stay tuned. . . .

Why Did The Bill Fail?

Following the success of the Breast Cancer Research Stamp, Congress found an increasing number of disease awareness activist groups requesting that they be given a semi-postal stamp to raise awareness and money for their cause. Added to this flood of requests was an increasing number of non-disease activist groups, each wanting a stamp for their cause - including safe railroad crossings and the World War II Memorial planned for the Mall.

Several options were discussed in Congress: pass each stamp that gained a respectable level of support; pass a bill providing for rotating semi-postals, each on sale for one year (diabetes for one year, Alzheimer's the next year, prostate the next year, and so on); or authorize the Postal Service to issue semi-postals and transfer all semi-postal decisions to the Postal Service.

Having faced this dilemma once before, with the issuance of commemorative days, weeks, and months (Father's Day, Mother's Day, National Men's Health Week, etc.) being transferred to another entity, Congress decided to follow precedent and transfer semi-postal decisions somewhere else. This led to the passage of H.R. 4437, which transfers all decisions on semi-postals to the Postal Service. H.R. 4437 also reauthorized sale of the Breast Cancer Research Stamp for 2 more years.

H.R. 4437 was signed by President Clinton and became Public Law 106-253 on July 28, 2000, thereby insuring continued sales of the Breast Cancer Research Stamp and transfer of decisions about all other semi-postals, including the proposed Prostate Cancer Research Stamp, to the Postal Service.

Specifically, H.R. 4437 reads in part:

Sec. 416. Authority to issue semipostals

(a) DEFINITIONS- For purposes of this section--

(1) the term `semipostal' means a postage stamp which is issued and sold by the Postal Service, at a premium, in order to help provide funding for a cause described in subsection (b); and

(2) the term `agency' means an Executive agency within the meaning of section 105 of title 5.

(b) DISCRETIONARY AUTHORITY- The Postal Service is hereby authorized to issue and sell semipostals under this section in order to advance such causes as the Postal Service considers to be in the national public interest and appropriate.

(c) RATE OF POSTAGE- The rate of postage on a semipostal issued under this section shall be established by the Governors, in accordance with such procedures as they shall by regulation prescribe (in lieu of the procedures under chapter 36), except that--

(1) the rate established for a semipostal under this section shall be equal to the rate of postage that would otherwise regularly apply, plus a differential of not to exceed 25 percent; and

(2) no regular rates of postage or fees for postal services under chapter 36 shall be any different from what they otherwise would have been if this section had not been enacted. The use of any semipostal issued under this section shall be voluntary on the part of postal patrons.

But, Why Did The Bill Really Fail?

The Prostate Cancer Research Stamp was introduced in both the 105th and 106th Congresses and received substantial member and activist support, yet still failed to pass. It failed to pass for a number of reasons but the most important reason is that even though men die at higher rates for the top 10 causes of death, men's health does not receive much government attention - and prostate cancer is just one of many critical men's health concerns.

Until men's health is made a national priority and given the government and public attention it needs, prostate cancer issues will continue to struggle and receive 2nd rate status.

Women's health, however, has been a national priority for over a decade. The establishment of an Office of Women's Health in 1991 paved the way for a number of important women's health initiatives including passage of the Breast Cancer Research Stamp in 1997, an emphasis on women's health research at NIH, and the establishment of a substantial Breast and Cervical Cancer outreach and treatment program at CDC.

We applaud the effort of activists for women's health to place prevention, awareness, and research of women's health issues on the front burner. However, it is unfortunate that policy makers were left with the impression that women's health and research had been neglected, thereby implying that men's health issues needed no attention. The imprint of this erroneous impression can be found on virtually every health issue considered by Congress and the Administration - and affects individual health issues like prostate cancer. Today, there are women's health offices at almost all federal agencies that have an interest in health and twice as many women are enrolled in federally funded research on women's health at NIH than men enrolled in research on men's health.

Wait 'til next year!

Representative Cunningham will take the lead again next year and push for issuance of the prostate cancer research stamp. Bookmark this site and check it regularly for updates on this issue.

What You Can Do!

Senator Strom Thurmond and Rep. Randy Cunningham are leading the way with the introduction of the Men's Health Act of 2000 in the Senate and in the House. The Men's Health Act of 2000 will establish an Office of Men's Health at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to coordinate the fragmented men's health awareness, prevention, and research efforts now being conducted by federal and state government. If passed, this legislation will finally give men's health issues the legitimacy needed to make advancements in all high risk disease issues affecting men, including prostate cancer.

Your voice counts! To learn more about this issue, and to support the Office of Men's Health, go to the Office of Men's Health Resource Center and write a letter in support of the Men's Health Act of 2000.

And, ask for and buy the existing prostate cancer awareness stamp.

For further information, please contact us at:

The Men's Health Network
P.O. Box 75972
Washington D.C. 20013
Phone: 202-543-MHN1 (6461)



  1. Klausner, R.D. & Varmus, H. (1999).  Planning for Prostate Cancer Research: Expanding the Scientific Framework and Professional Judgement Estimates.  Testimony before the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies.
  2. The Prostate Cancer Awareness Stamp shown on this page sells for 33, the cost of a normal first class stamp.  The Prostate Cancer Research Stamp will be of another design and is expected to  sell for 40, as does the Breast Cancer Research Stamp, with the extra 7 (minus a minimal administrative fee) going to support federally funded prostate cancer research.