LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) — Cancer-fighting advocates said the lives of more than 1,200 Michiganders could be saved every year if Congress passes legislation that helps with the early detection of prostate cancer.

It is why Beth Trierweiler with the American Cancer Society and other people are taking their urgency to the U.S. capitol, during Prostate Cancer Awareness Month. 

Blue ribbon symbolic for prostate cancer awareness campaign and men’s health in doctor’s hand

“So, we are specifically going to ask our members of Congress to pass a bill that covers evidence-based prostate cancer tests, like the prostate antigen screening test which is a blood test that will give up a level of where those prostate levels are at,” Trierweiler said. 

Michigan representatives will be joined with hundreds of other cancer advocates and volunteers from around the country, and plan to urge Congress to support two pieces of legislation – The Medicare Multi-Cancer Early Detection Screening Coverage Act and the Prostate-Specific Antigen Screening for High-Risk Insured Men Act.

Right now, prostate cancer screening is not covered under insurance.

“So, it’s a simple blood test, and right now insurance does not cover that 100 percent,” Trierweiler said. 

In addition, the American Cancer Society is asking for $51 billion dollars, including roughly 10 billion for the National Cancer Institute, and $470 million dollars for various CDC cancer programs.

Trierweiler said lives could be saved with early detection programs, but they need Congress to prioritize their wishes to get them in the 2024 budget, and that deadline is September 30th.

“If you’re diagnosed with prostate cancer early, you have nearly a 100 percent chance of living longer than 5 years,” Trierweiler said. 

Trierweiler said, “So early detection is key to saving lives and living longer.”

Advocates said there are risks to not having appropriate cancer research funding – and these barriers to early detection are a threat.