by Eric Rosenberg Hearst News Sources
Prostate Cancer Research Gets a Boost
Washington -- The new federal budget includes an allocation of $184 million for research on prostate cancer, the No. 2 killer of American men. The budget, which was signed into law by President Clinton in late October, included $62 million from the Pentagon and $122 million from the National Institutes of Health.
Some 184,500 men will be diagnosed with carcinoma of the prostate this year, making it the most diagnosed cancer in the United States next to highly curable forms of skin cancer. Nearly 40,000 American men will die from the cancer; only lung cancer will kill more American men, according to the American Cancer Society.
Prostate cancer research has been poorly funded by the federal government, relative to other cancers. For example, breast cancer and prostate cancer killed about the same number of Americans in 1997 - 43,900 women and 41,800 men, respectively - while about 14,000 people died from AIDs-related illnesses last year.
The NIH spent about $107,214 in AIDS research for every AIDS-related death that year; $9,362 in breast cancer research for every breast cancer death; and $2,512 in prostate cancer research for every death from that disease.
From 1990 through 1997, the National Cancer Institute spent $371 million on prostate cancer research. By comparison, institute spent nearly $1.67 billion for breast cancer research.