Remembering men’s health this National Veterans and Military Families Month

Novartis honors veterans and military families this month, highlighting their support and raising awareness on men’s health, especially prostate cancer’s impact on veterans.

Nov 10, 2023

In recognition of National Veterans and Military Families Month, Novartis is proud to celebrate the contributions of our military personnel, veterans, their families, and caregivers. Novartis is a proud supporter of the US military community, and our commitment to supporting veterans goes beyond patient care and resources.

Novartis provides veterans with opportunities to succeed

As part of our Collective Commitment to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI), we redesigned our supplier diversity program to increase engagement and spending with small and diverse-owned business, including veteran- and service-disabled veteran-owned businesses.

Our dedication extends to unique opportunities within our organization for veterans who are working to establish their careers following military service.

Ryan Demastus, a member of our sales force since 2015, credits this program for why he joined Novartis. “I heard incredible stories about the difference our products were making in the lives of loved ones and friends, and that drove me even more.”1

Mentoring and hands-on support can help people–including veterans–who join Novartis have the tools to reach their full potential.

Ryan Demastus

Highlighting men’s health: Veterans are disproportionately impacted by prostate cancer

As we honor and celebrate the United States Armed forces this Veterans Day and throughout the month, the recognition also provides an opportunity to shine a light on men’s health issues, in particular prostate cancer, the second leading cause of cancer death in men.2

Veterans are disproportionately impacted by prostate cancer. Roughly one in five American veterans will be diagnosed with prostate cancer during their lifetime, a rate nearly double that of the general American male population (1 in 8).3 Of the 9 million veterans receiving health care from the Veterans Health Administration (VHA), over 500,000 have prostate cancer, with 16,000 diagnosed with metastatic prostate cancer.4

To help veterans at all stages of a prostate cancer diagnosis, Novartis encourages education and awareness and supports organizations like Veterans Prostate Cancer Awareness (VPCa). VPCa is an advocacy group dedicated to saving lives by promoting prostate cancer awareness, early detection, and providing educational resources to veterans and active-duty military personnel.

Our mission is to stand alongside our brave veterans in their fight against prostate cancer. With the support of Novartis, we’re not only raising awareness but actively providing solutions and hope.

Mike Crosby, VPCa CEO & President

Alongside VPCa, we also strive to promote prostate cancer awareness and early detection and educating veterans about the disease and available treatments. Timely detection can drastically improve prostate cancer survival rates in many patients.5 When undetected and untreated, prostate cancer can spread to other parts of the body, potentially becoming unresponsive to hormone treatment, resulting in metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer (mCRPC).

Visit VPCa for more information about prostate cancer in veterans.

PSMA: An important biomarker for advanced prostate cancer

While most men with prostate cancer are familiar with their prostate-specific antigen levels (PSA) and PSA tests, there is another important biomarker called PSMA, or prostate-specific membrane antigen. Positron emission tomography (PET) scans are used to test for PSMA biomarkers, which are located on the outside of prostate cancer cells and are found in more than 80% of men with prostate cancer.6,7

PSMA tests can help doctors diagnose and track the progression of prostate cancer. Having information on PSMA status may allow individuals and their health care team to make more informed decisions about the best course of action in their treatment plan for metastatic prostate cancer.

To learn more about PSMA, talk to your doctor or visit

Resources from the veteran and prostate cancer community

Patient and veteran advocacy organizations around the world have information and resources to help people living with prostate cancer cope and manage the disease.

Veterans Prostate Cancer Awareness (VPCa)

The organization and website listed above are independently operated and not managed by Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation. Novartis assumes no responsibility for any information they may provide.

Additional resources

To learn more about PSMA, talk to your doctor or visit


  1. Novartis. Novartis US Equal Employment Opportunity/Diversity & Inclusion Report 2021. Accessed October 20, 2023.
  2. American Cancer Society. Key Statistics for Prostate Cancer. Accessed August 11, 2023.
  3. American Association for Cancer Research. Cancer Incidence in the U.S. Military Population: Comparison with Rates from the SEER Program. Accessed on October 20, 2023.
  4. Veterans Prostate Cancer Awareness. Prostate Cancer Facts and Figures. Accessed October 20, 2023.
  5. Prostate Cancer Foundation. Top 10 things you should know about prostate cancer. Accessed August 11, 2023
  6. Hope TA, Aggarwal R, Chee B, et al. Impact of 68Ga-PSMA-11 PET on management in patients with biochemically recurrent prostate cancer. J Nucl Med. 2017;58(12):1956-1961.
  7. Sonni I, Eiber M, Fendler WP, et al. Impact of 68Ga-PSMA-11 PET/CT on staging and management of prostate cancer patients in various clinical settings: a prospective single-center study. J Nucl Med. 2020;61:1153-1160. doi:10.2967/jnumed.119.237602