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Health, Science & Tech

Task Force Would Increase Prostate Cancer Awareness

One in six Pennsylvania men will suffer from prostate cancer in his lifetime. One in 30 dies from the disease, more than the national average, according to the Pennsylvania Prostate Cancer Coalition.

Legislation has been introduced in the Pennsylvania Senate to create the Prostate Cancer Task Force through the Department of Health.

Seven participants in the 18-member task force will be healthcare professionals with experience treating prostate cancer, according to the text of the bill.

Sen. Rob Teplitz (D-Dauphin) is sponsoring the bill and said the group will focus on increasing public awareness and early detection of prostate cancer.

“Early detection saves lives,” Teplitz said. “It also saves money, and it will save money in our healthcare system if people identify early, treat early. Because this is curable, we just have to catch it early.”

Under Senate Bill 605, the task force would issue a report on its progress a year after meetings begin. The members will be unpaid, but will be reimbursed with tax dollars for expenses accrued.

The bill requires the task force to develop a program to standardize prostate cancer screenings in Pennsylvania and to clarify all treatment options available to men diagnosed with the disease.