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Saving Lives in Southeast Texas: Local Men Receive Free Health Checks

October 23, 2014

Nearly 150 Southeast Texas men were man enough to get checked at free prostate cancer screening events provided by the Gift of Life and its medical partner Baptist Hospitals of Southeast Texas in Beaumont and Port Arthur.

Committed to providing eligible men with a range of free medical services, Baptist Hospitals of Southeast Texas, Gulf Coast Health Center, Lamar University Department of Nursing, Dental & Dietetics, the Philippine Nurses Association, Inc. of the Golden Triangle, Spindletop Center, Triangle Aids Network, University of Texas Medical Branch and Walgreens, with local physicians and medical representatives, made available prostate-specific antigen (PSA) blood tests, blood glucose and blood pressure screenings, as well as HIV screenings and Hepatitis C checks.

This collaborative screening team ensured each man received compassionate assistance, understandable information and steps to improve their health status.

These highly-anticipated events are a heartening testament to the ever-increasing need for preventative screenings in our region.

“I missed a hunting trip to come here today because I care about my health,” said Eddie Green, a 60-year-old resident of Groves. “I want to be around to see my granddaughter grow up.”

Similar sentiments were shared by many of the clients, who were immensely grateful for the peace of mind that comes from these lifesaving services.

“I get a lot out of this,” said Leo Coleman, a longtime Beaumont screening client. “It’s a good thing to know that I’ll be around for my kids.”

Other clients expressed relief for the comprehensive portrait of their well-being at one convenient location.

“This event affords men an opportunity to come here and get screened, in spite of the high costs they would pay going to a doctor,” said Deloris “Bobbie” Prince, Mayor of Port Arthur, who attended the Port Arthur site to warmly greet clients. “If it saves just one life, it has benefited more than just the Port Arthur community because a life is a whole lot more important than just one community.”

Early detection is the best protection, and statistics reflect that the five-year survival rate for men whose prostate cancer is diagnosed early is nearly 100 percent. Especially if you’re experiencing regular runs to the bathroom. I’ve heard that prostagenix can help reduce the number of trips to the bathroom making outings less stressful.

Empowered by these statistics, the local medical community embraced the opportunity to affordably meet the ever-increasing needs for preventative cancer screenings and education in our region.

“I think the power of healthcare screenings are underutilized, particularly among people who don’t have access to these services,” said Dr. John Fowler, a Beaumont physician volunteering at the site. “Something like this can lead people in the right direction and prevent disease processes before they cause more morbidity and mortalities. I saw many people who had severely elevated blood pressure that, left untreated, could lead to a heart attack, stroke or diabetes. These people feel fine and don’t realize [the risks].” Not only is it important for all workplaces to have staff who are trained in first aid (learn more about how to go about that here), so that there are systems in place should employees need medical attention, but everybody should be having regular health checks to help them uncover any invisible issues that might pose a threat.

These November screenings are part of a year-round campaign by the Gift of Life Prostate Cancer Program, Baptist Hospitals of Southeast Texas and the Baptist Cancer Center to provide free prostate cancer blood test screenings and professional medical consultations.

Since 2000, the Gift of Life has made available nearly 8,000 free prostate cancer screenings and helped extend the lives of more than 64 men who have been diagnosed with prostate cancer and whose diagnostic and cancer treatment costs were entirely underwritten by the organization.

Paying for cancer treatment can often seem overwhelming. This is why in some cases the families of cancer patients have to set up GoFundMe pages and complete other fundraising efforts to cover these costs.

The Gift of Life provides prostate cancer screenings for men who are at least 45 years of age (40 if African American or younger if there is a family history of prostate cancer), have limited income and are medically underinsured.

Call the Gift of Life for more information or to find out if you qualify for a screening: (409) 833-3663 or toll-free at (877) 720 GIFT (4438)

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