April 25, 2014 at 9:00 AM
Men don’t like to talk about their health. They often refuse doctor visits. They especially don’t want to talk about anything that has to do with the prostate.
But, the reality is, it is something that needs to be discussed. According to the American Cancer Society, prostate cancer is the most common form of cancer in American males. One in six men will have it during his lifetime.
No one knows these facts more than the Pennsylvania Prostate Cancer Coalition. The organization has a basic mission, which is anything but simple.
“The PPCC’s mission is to extend and improve the quality of life for our fathers, brothers, and sons through prostate cancer awareness, education and the advocacy of responsible screening,” said the organization’s website.
To facilitate that goal, local businesses are partnering with the PPCC in order to bring free exams to the men that need them, such as those in Lower Providence Township, The Urology Health Specialists Prostate Cancer Center, located at 400 Davis Drive, Suite 200, in Plymouth Meeting is the closest location for those in the township.
The offices will offer six dates during which men can come in for free prostate exams through the month of May. Appointments for the exams will be held on Tuesdays, May 6, 13, 20 and on Wednesdays, May 7, 14, 21 from 4 to 7 p.m. each date.
Interested men (perhaps with their caring friends or family members prompting) need to call for an appointment at 610-825-2151.
“We just need to do a prescreening,” said John White, manager of the UHS Prostate Cancer Center. “We are looking for guys really that have never been checked before, that’s why we are offering it.”
Despite the education of the community, White said many men are still hesitant to be checked.
“There are still people out there,” said White. “They wait until things are past point, and we want them to be proactive.”
The exams are free and require no preauthorization or referral. No insurance is needed at all.
“If we find something, then we’ll work through the avenues,” said White. “They walk in, a procedure is performed, and then we follow up with them whether it is negative or positive. If it is positive, we make recommendations toward care.”
Men coming in for the free exam do not need to prepare in any way for the screening. White said that all men are welcome to attend, though there are particular risk factors for the illness.
“Usually all men starting at age 40 [should be examined],” said White. “Risk factors are African American, family history of prostate cancer, obesity, smoking and anyone over 55 that has never been checked.”
White said that the early detection that a free exam can provide is well worth the trip and temporary discomfort.
“It is important because if it goes unchecked and found later, there is a high risk of cancer diagnosis if left untreated,” he said. “It can also create bone metastasis. Like most cancers it can spread, and from the prostate it often to goes into the bone, and that is very painful.”
White recommends that all men in the appropriate age group come out for a free appointment.
“ We want to be proactive and get out there, offer a free service,” said White.
For more information on the UHS Prostate Cancer Center, visit the organization’s website here or call for a free appointment at 610-825-2151.