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The Delaware County Health Department is partnering with the Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center at Thomas Jefferson University to bring free prostate cancer screenings to all county residents.
“We started off with free mammograms in May, and we wanted to continue the partnership,” said Dr. James Plummer, the administrator for population health for the county health department.
From 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on June 21 at the Wellness Center in Yeadon, healthcare professionals will administer the test inside of Jefferson’s mobile van. No insurance is needed.
“You can actually just show up. It should only take less than 15 minutes. It’s a simple blood draw. There’s no schedule. There’s no appointments needed. You just walk right up,” said Laura Anderson, a community health worker for the department.
According to county health officials, prostate cancer is the most prevalent new cancer identified in men in both Delaware County and Pennsylvania. Between 2016 and 2020, 1,824 people were diagnosed with invasive prostate cancer.
There are also racial disparities in the rate of occurrence. Black men in Delaware County are one and a half times more likely to develop invasive prostate cancer than white men.
Because early detection is key, county officials are hopeful that confidential and free screenings will give some people potentially life-saving information.
“We are trying to reach a population that may not be aware of the value of a screening of this nature and for whatever reason do not have access to it,” said Helen McGoohan, a community health planner for the health department.
The Delaware County Health Department is recommending all men over the age of 40 with a family history of prostate cancer, all Black men over the age of 45, and all men over the age of 50 to consider screening.
McGoohan said the county will team up with Jefferson again in October for another free mammogram screening. It plans to offer both types of screen events at the Chester location in the future.
“There’s a possibility with Jefferson that they are working on [mobile] cervical cancer screening. It’s not been approved yet for Pennsylvania, but we’re certainly going to take advantage of any upcoming screenings that Jefferson provides and other partners. We’re just looking to grow this program,” McGoohan said.
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