GUEST EDITORIAL — September is National Prostate Cancer Awareness; see what’s available locally
Published 12:02 am Tuesday, September 6, 2022
September is Prostate Cancer Awareness Month, and Gift of Life urges all men to learn the risks and symptoms of the disease so that it can be detected and treated as early as possible.
We advise men to talk to their primary care providers or contact Gift of Life to find out if they are eligible for the program’s free primary care and prostate cancer screenings.
On the frontlines of this year’s initiative is Gift of Life’s generous patron and business leader Don Shaver, who is serving as the program’s 2022 Men’s Health Honorary Chair.
Having recently completed successful treatment for prostate cancer, Shaver realizes how fortunate he is to have health insurance. He also is passionate about raising awareness, emphasizing “be a man and get checked,” and publicizing Gift of Life’s free screening opportunities for medically underserved Southeast Texas men.
Prostate cancer is one of the leading causes of cancer death among men, and approximately 1 in 8 men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer during their lifetime, making it the second most common cancer in American men after skin cancer.
In Texas, an estimated 17,000 new cases of prostate cancer will be diagnosed in 2022, and more than 2,300 men will die from the disease.
Men over the age of 65, men who have a family history of prostate cancer, and African American men are more likely to be diagnosed and encounter a higher mortality rate.
Early detection and the reduction of barriers to healthcare are critical to survival.
Gift of Life Men’s Health and Prostate Cancer Program addresses social determinants that confront at-risk individuals through its provision of free primary care and prostate cancer screenings for men who cannot afford insurance or high deductibles.
To date, we have helped diagnose prostate cancer in 77 men.
Throughout the year, the organization conducts monthly screenings in Beaumont, Port Arthur and Orange; and during September, there will be two screening events from 8 a.m. until 1 p.m. on Saturday/Sept. 10 in Beaumont at the Industrial Safety Training Council (ISTC) Conference Center and on Sept. 17 in Orange at the Baptist Outpatient campus.
Medical providers and healthcare volunteers will provide screenings and on-site consultations to each registered man, and scheduled appointments are recommended.
Men with abnormal primary care test outcomes will be navigated to healthcare clinics or their primary care physicians with Gift of Life managing and underwriting medical costs for eligible men experiencing elevated PSA results.
Participants also will receive educational materials, lunches, and other food pantry items. To register, call Gift of Life at 409-833-3663 or online at giftoflifebmt.org.
Also at the event on Saturday/Sept. 10, Southeast Texas Urology Associates (Doctors J. Denton Harris, IV; John A. Henderson, IV; Jenny N. Nguyen; and. Steven A. Socher) will be honored as the 2022 Julie Rogers “Spirit of Love” Award Recipient for the group’s unparalleled dedication to Gift of Life’s prostate cancer program and remarkable medical care.
The prestigious award is presented to deserving community leaders for extraordinary efforts in the battle against cancer.
Gift of Life is grateful to our medical partners, including Baptist Hospitals of Southeast Texas, Baptist Internal Medicine Residency Program and the Port Arthur Health Department, who, along with other champions of our cause, join us in the battle against this disease.
With their support, we are resolute in our efforts to continue reducing regional healthcare disparities and saving lives through awareness, education, and early detection. Together, we can make a difference.
Information presented by Julie Rogers Gift of Life, including Linda Domino, president; Regina Rogers, founder and chair; and Norma Sampson, executive director. Log onto giftoflifebmt.org for more information.