As an organization that is passionate about improving early disease detection, HALO is in strong support of California bill AB 632 that was recently passed. This bill will allow patients to receive prostate cancer screenings without a deductible, copayment, or coinsurance.
Bill AB 632 is specifically tailored to apply to men over the age of 55 and men over the age of 40 who are at high risk, including “a person with a prostate who is Black, has a family history of prostate cancer, has a genetic predisposition to prostate cancer, or is a veteran.”
Prostate Cancer Risk Factors
Prostate cancer is the second-leading cause of cancer deaths among men in the United States. One in eight men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer in their lifetime and the odds increase to one in six if they are African American, and one in three if they have a family history.
Black men are more likely to be diagnosed with prostate cancer at a younger age, with more aggressive disease, and are more than twice as likely to die of prostate cancer compared to white men in settings of equal access to treatment. To eliminate racial and income-driven disparities, it is vital that barriers for screening are eliminated to maximize the early detection of cancer when it is at its smallest and most treatable stage.
Additionally, prostate cancer is the most diagnosed cancer within the Veterans Health Administration. Veterans and members of the military experience higher rates of prostate cancer than the general population.
Prostate Cancer Screening
The Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA) screening test is the standard test to identify clinically significant prostate cancers. Men are typically recommended to start PSA testing at the age of 55, unless they are at increased risk. Unfortunately, this test alone misses 15% of clinically significant prostate cancers.
Fortunately, the HALO PathWay™ for prostate cancer combines mpMRI, PSA Density, and urine biomarkers for the early detection of high-grade prostate cancer at 99% accuracy. When all three of these tests are combined, only 1% or less of clinically significant prostate cancers are missed. This approach helps to decrease the blind spots of each test and prevent over-treatment.
When detected early, the 5-year survival rate for men diagnosed with prostate cancer is 99%. Cancer that is diagnosed earlier requires less invasive surgery and creates less economic burden on the healthcare system and caregivers, resulting in overall improved outcomes.
HALO is Here to Help
Existing law requires health insurance policies to provide coverage for the screening and diagnosis of prostate cancer, however deductibles, co-pays, and other out-of-pocket expenses may deter or prevent high-risk and underserved populations from seeking care and detecting early-stage disease.
Prostate cancer is highly treatable, and with AB 632, we hope more men can detect and treat this cancer early, continuing to lead active, healthy lives many years after diagnosis.
At HALO Precision Diagnostics, we realize that every patient is unique and so are their prostate concerns. To learn more about prostate cancer screening or our minimally invasive prostate cancer treatments, please schedule a consultation with one of our experts today.