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Independence supports the Prostate Cancer Foundation during Prostate Cancer Awareness month

In recognition of National Prostate Cancer Awareness Month, Independence Blue Cross (Independence) announces its continued support for the Prostate Cancer Foundation (PCF) in its ongoing efforts to promote awareness of prostate cancer throughout the Philadelphia region and nationwide. In addition to promoting a comprehensive guide about prostate cancer, Independence will make a financial contribution.

According to the American Cancer Society (ACS), other than skin cancer, prostate cancer is the most common cancer in American men. The ACS estimates that in 2018 there will be nearly 165,000 new cases of prostate cancer and more than 29,000 deaths. Men of African descent are 73 percent more likely to develop prostate cancer and more than twice as likely as Caucasian men to die from the disease.

“Fortunately, when caught early and treated appropriately, prostate cancer has one of the highest survival rates of any cancer, said Anthony Coletta, M.D. MBA, president of Facilitated Health Networks at Independence. “Screening for prostate cancer is one of the simplest cancer detection tests, either through a simple blood or urine sample, or on occasion, a rectal exam. We urge all men, especially those who have a family history, either a father or brother with prostate cancer, to incorporate prostate screenings into their overall health check-up.”

In addition to its support for PCF, Independence supports The Pennsylvania Urological Regional Collaborative, or PURC, a physician-led collaborative aimed at advancing the quality of diagnosis and care for men with prostate cancer throughout Pennsylvania. PURC is funded through the Health Care Improvement Foundation, a tax-exempt charitable organization that receives funding from Independence Blue Cross and many of the region’s health care systems.

PURC includes nearly 120 prostate cancer specialists from some of the top hospitals in our region. Through PURC, a statewide cloud-based clinical registry containing more than 7,500 cases as of July 2018 gives doctors real-time health care data and analytics about prostate cancer diagnoses that can help inform their care.

Most notably, PURC results show considerable decreases in the use of imaging for men at either a very low or low risk for the spread of prostate cancer.  The downside of imaging for men at low risk are increased exposure to radiation and potentially inconclusive results that can lead to further testing and expense.

Other PURC data includes:

  • 20% increase in active surveillance treatment for low risk patients
  • 16% increase in the documentation of antibiotic use prior to biopsy
  • More than 8% of biopsies performed locally have genomic testing completed

About the Prostate Cancer Foundation
The Prostate Cancer Foundation (PCF) is the world’s leading philanthropic organization funding and accelerating prostate cancer research. Founded in 1993, the PCF has raised more than $745 million and provided funding to more than 2,000 research programs at nearly 200 cancer centers and universities. The PCF global research enterprise now extends to 19 countries. The PCF advocates for greater awareness of prostate cancer and more efficient investment of governmental research funds for transformational cancer research. Its efforts have helped produce a 20-fold increase in government funding for prostate cancer. For more information, visit  Read more at Prostate Cancer Patient Guide

About the Health Care Improvement Foundation
Founded in 1980 as an affiliate of the Delaware Valley Healthcare Council, HCIF has operated since 2003 as an independent 501(c)(3) organization. The Board of Directors comprises 20 Pennsylvania leaders representing health systems, health payers, the business community, the public health sector, and consumers.

HCIF specializes in project management, group facilitation, strategy development, training and coaching, measurement and analytics, and program evaluation.  HCIF’s approach engages multi-stakeholder resources to implement solutions that no market participant could achieve individually. Since its inception, HCIF has been recognized as an outstanding example of how advances in quality care can be achieved through large-scale collaboration.

Media contact:
Ruth Stoolman
215-241-4807 (o)
215-667-9567 (c)