LAS VEGAS, NEV.– December 8, 2023 – A two-time prostate cancer from Henderson is celebrating nearly five years of being cancer-free by urging U.S. Sens. Catherine Cortez Masto and Jacky Rosen to support increased access to screenings for prostate cancer before Congress breaks for holiday recess.
Alex Garza joined more than 200 advocates from across the country at a virtual postcard party on Wednesday evening hosted by the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN). Volunteers, including cancer survivors and patients wrote postcards addressed to members of Congress asking them to co-sponsor S.2821, the PSA Screening for HIM Act. If passed, the bill would provide free prostate cancer screenings for those at high-risk of the disease, including Black men and those with a family history of the disease.
According to the American Cancer Society, as the end of 2023 approaches, more than 2,100 men in Nevada are expected to have been diagnosed with prostate cancer this year alone. Of those, 440 are expected to have died. Black men have a 70 percent higher than White men and are more than twice as likely to die from the disease when compared to White men.
Garza was first diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2017. Shortly thereafter, he underwent a procedure to remove his prostate and the cancer. Unfortunately, the surgery wasn’t a success and his prostate cancer returned one year later. Determined to fight, Garza embarked on a series of chemotherapy and radiation treatments. After countless blood tests, medical procedures and doctor appointments, Garza has been cancer free for nearly five years.
“Without access to screening for prostate cancer, I likely would not be alive today,” Garza said. “Far too many men in Nevada are dying from this disease. Our U.S. Senators from Nevada can act before the holidays and do their part in trying to assure more men have access to early detection by sponsoring this legislation.”
Currently, only three U.S. Senators have co-sponsored the bill, not including Cortez Masto and Rosen. However, H.R. 1826, the version of the bill currently being considered in the House of Representatives, has 58 co-sponsors, including Rep. Steven Horsford, Rep. Susie Lee, Rep. Dina Titus, and Rep. Mark Amodei.
Reporters are invited to interview Garza to hear more about his story and why this legislation is critical to removing significant barriers when it comes to getting screened.