Health

Health system to offer free prostrate screenings

If you’re man in the Newport News area on Sept. 24 between 5 – 7 p.m., Riverside Health System wants you to stop by for a free prostate screening at the Riverside Cancer Care Center on the Peninsula, 12100 Warwick Blvd.

Appointments are required to participate in this event and can be made by calling 1-800-520-7006.

Men between the ages of 45 and 72, who have not already been diagnosed or treated for prostate cancer, are eligible to be screened.

Prostate screenings for men remain incredibly important for catching and treating prostate cancer early, when it is the most curable.

“When prostate cancer doesn’t get diagnosed in time, just like any cancer, it gets harder to treat,” said Fran Holcomb, BSN, RN, OCN®, a cancer education and outreach nurse for Riverside. “If you catch it early, the survival rate is pretty good, better than 99 percent if caught in the early stages.”

An estimated one in nine men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer in his lifetime, and that rate increases to one in six among African American men.

In many cases, prostate cancer doesn’t cause any symptoms until the disease process is in its later stages. For that reason, annual screening exams are a critical component to diagnosing the disease early.

National trends show that during this time of COVID-19, cancer screenings are on the decline, which could impact a patient’s ability to be diagnosed as early as possible.

“We do not want men to delay getting their screening,” Holcomb said. “We treat these screenings with the same level of safety as any doctor’s visit as part of our efforts to keep all patients and team members safe from COVID-19.”

Patients participating in the free prostate screenings will be required to wear face coverings during their visit and are asked to arrive at their exact appointment time.

“While patients may want to arrive early, we ask that all participants arrive at the time they receive for their screening so we can maintain proper social distancing,” Holcomb said.

Patients will be screened for COVID-19 upon arrival for their appointment, to include a short questionnaire and temperature checks. Men will not be admitted to the screening if they have a temperature of 100.4 F degrees or higher, or have other flu-like symptoms such as cough, sore throat, body aches, or diarrhea.

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