Meghan Smith, MPH

December 5, 2022

November was Men’s Health Awareness Month which is a time dedicated to bringing awareness to a wide range of men’s health issues. One of HCIF’s clinical improvement initiatives – Pennsylvania Urologic Regional Collaborative (PURC) – is specifically focused on supporting urology practices in advancing the quality of diagnosis and care for men with prostate cancer.

Prostate cancer is the most common non-skin cancer in men in the U.S., and the 4th most common tumor diagnosed worldwide. In the United States, 1 in 8 men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer in his lifetime. Sadly, disparities permeate the diagnosis, treatment and outcomes related to prostate cancer. For Black men, 1 in 6 will develop prostate cancer and are more than twice as likely to die from the disease. Even though this type of cancer is common, it is a treatable and manageable disease, especially when caught in its earliest stages. The overall five-year survival rate for prostate cancer is 98 percent which means a man diagnosed with prostate cancer has a 98 percent chance of being alive five years later!

“Prostate cancer is a serious condition, but it is rarely an emergency. Patients should not be pressured into a quick treatment decision.  It is crucial that patient education is emphasized, and shared decision making is embraced.”

-Dr. Serge Ginzburg, MD – Albert Einstein Medical Center

To identify prostate cancer early, it’s important for patients to discuss screening options with their doctors. Key factors to consider in coordination with your doctor are age, race, and family history – all of which can impact the likelihood of developing prostate cancer. In most cases, prostate cancer is a slow-growing disease and there is time to gather information, consider all options, and make a plan following diagnosis.

“The critical element of prostate cancer screening is not only identifying the presence of malignancy, but also tailoring management to a patient’s specific type of cancer thereby personalizing individual care for patients.”

-Dr. Jay Raman, MD, FACS – Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center

“Management of prostate cancer is certainly not “one size fits all.” There are so many factors to consider when choosing the best treatment options for patients, including disease severity, likelihood of cancer control, a patient’s overall health, and the effects of any treatments on a patient’s lifestyle.”

Dr. Adam Reese, MD – Temple University Lewis Katz School of Medicine

Launched in 2015, PURC currently brings together 13 urology practices and 170 physicians from across the Mid-Atlantic region (Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Virginia, and Washington, DC) to discuss trends and advances in prostate cancer, identify opportunities for improvement and collaboration, and analyze clinical registry data from over 20,000 cases. As a result of this collaborative, active surveillance of patients has increased, post biopsy ER visits and hospital admissions have decreased, and overall biopsy complications have decreased for patients of PURC practice sites.

“The changes made by the collaborative have been amazing, with our active surveillance rates above the national average and our rapid adoption of the transperineal prostate biopsy technique.”

-Dr. Andres Correa, MD – Fox Chase Cancer Center

To read more from the physicians quoted above, please check out a few of PURC’s Partner Profiles:

Learn more about HCIF’s commitment to improving outcomes for men with prostate cancer here: PURC