Organization hosts free cancer, health screenings

Published 9:39 pm Thursday, September 30, 2010

While there still is no cure for cancer, early detection is helping put a stop to the number of fatalities it causes every year.

To help those who may not be able to afford early detection cancer screenings, Main Street Physicians is holding free cancer screenings from 9 a.m. to noon on Saturday. Free blood pressure, cholesterol and glucose screenings also will be available.

“One of the most common questions we get is, ‘Can I prevent cancer?’” said Katrina White, health educator. “You can’t, but early detection is the biggest thing you can do to survive it, if you do have it. It’s the best tool we have. The earlier it’s detected, the higher the survival rate.”

Email newsletter signup

Cancer screenings will include clinical breast exams, pap smears and prostate exams.

“With September being Prostate Awareness Month, we’re really encouraging men to come get their exam,” White said. “Women tend to be better at getting their regular exams done, but we find the most common reason for not getting exams done is because patients are worried they can’t afford it.”

Affordability on Saturday will not be a problem.

“There’s no need for an appointment, paperwork, pay stubs — nothing,” White said. “It doesn’t matter what their income or their ability to pay is. The only requirement is that they be over the age of 18. We want to raise awareness that we’re here to help anybody that needs health or medical care, regardless of insurance or ability to pay.”

All the health screenings will be free, as well.

“If you look at the biggest killer in America, heart disease is it,” White said.

Chronic diseases such as diabetes — and factors that lead to them, such as high cholesterol and high blood pressure — “are putting a huge burden on the workforce and people being have to live healthy lives,” White said. “We want to make sure people are aware of their numbers and have the tools to improve them.”

There will also be several community organizations as vendors at the Main Street Physicians on Saturday, including Cool Smiles, the American Red Cross, Suffolk Family YMCA, 1Foot 2Foot Centre for Foot and Ankle Care, Optima Healthcare, Department of Social Security, Patient Advocate Foundation and ACCESS AIDS Care.

“In addition to the services we’re offering, we want people to know what other medical services are in the area to help them,” White said. “Our goal is to promote chronic disease prevention and early cancer detection and give people the resources they need to lead healthy, long lives.”

Main Street Physicians is located at 157 N. Main St. Patients attending Saturday’s cancer screening should use the Saratoga Street entrance.