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Independence Blue Cross Delivers Important Reminder to Women during Cervical Cancer Awareness Month

Message: Early Detection and Prevention Saves Lives!

PHILADELPHIA, Jan. 11 /PRNewswire/ -- Each year, about 11,000 women in the United States are diagnosed with cervical cancer and 3,700 women die unnecessarily from this disease(1). In recognition of Cervical Cancer Awareness month, Independence Blue Cross will make more than 100,000 member outreach calls reminding women that early detection and prevention of cancer can help save lives.

During this educational campaign, Independence Blue Cross will remind women ages 21-49 to receive their cervical cancer screening. In addition, women will be encouraged to discuss the Human Papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine, which is recommended for girls ages 11-12 and females ages 13-26, with their health care providers. HPV is one of the most common sexually transmitted infections in the United States and most cases of cervical cancer are associated with previous HPV infection.

Independence Blue Cross is providing this important reminder to members because research shows that receiving the three-shot HPV vaccine and recommended cervical cancer Pap test screening can decrease the chance of developing cervical cancer(2). However, it is important to note that even if a woman has had the HPV vaccine, she will continue to require regular cervical cancer screening by the Pap test and the HPV test when recommended(2).

"Our goal is to help keep our members healthy today, tomorrow, and well into the future," Says Dr. Esther Nash, senior medical director of Population Health and Wellness at Independence Blue Cross. "Prevention is a key. Providing important reminders about health screenings and vaccinations, wellness education, and increasing members' awareness of consumer tools and resources available to them are just some of the ways we're helping to keep our members feeling great in '08 and beyond."

For more information about cervical cancer prevention, or for help locating a participating gynecologist, members may visit Independence Blue Cross's Women's Health website at or call 215-241-3676.

About Independence Blue Cross

Independence Blue Cross is a leading health insurer in southeastern Pennsylvania. Nationwide, Independence Blue Cross and its affiliates provide coverage to nearly 3.4 million people. For 70 years, Independence Blue Cross has offered high-quality health care coverage tailored to meet the changing needs of members, employers, and health care professionals. Independence Blue Cross's HMO and PPO health care plans have consistently received the highest ratings from the National Committee for Quality Assurance.

Independence Blue Cross is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. More information about Independence Blue Cross is available at


1. American Cancer Society, 2007

2. National Cervical Cancer Coalition

SOURCE Independence Blue Cross
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