VOL. 113 | NO. 174 | Friday, September 10, 1999
Raines-Cox Urology Institute offers
free prostate cancer screenings
The Raines-Cox Urology Institute, new non-profit medical research and treatment organization, is offering free prostate cancer screenings as the first initiative of its African American Health Program.
These screenings will be held at several local African American churches from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. Sept. 22 during Prostate Cancer Awareness Week.
"The RCUI is dedicated to providing research protocols and clinical trials to patients with advanced urological disease who have exhausted all standard and traditional methods of treatment," said executive director Andrea Rovinsky.
"Additionally we have a mission of outreach, education and service to the community in each of the institutes four programs: African American Health, Mens Health, Womens Health and Advanced Cancer.
"Because of the serious health issue prostate cancer causes in the Memphis community, the African American health program has become the first priority of the RCUI."
Prostate cancer is the leading cause of malignancy in African American men, and African American men have the highest incidence of prostate cancer than any other racial or ethnic group in the world, said medical director Dr. Mitchell Steiner.
Additionally, prostate cancer strikes African American men at a younger average age and when it does, the form that develops is biologically more aggressive than that which occurs in other races and ethnic groups.
And, the rate of prostate cancer is expected to increase 90 percent by the year 2000, he said.
Cato Johnson, senior vice president of corporate affairs for Methodist Healthcare, and Calvin Anderson, vice president of corporate affairs for Blue Cross Blue Shield of Tennessee, are serving as community effort co-chairs for the initiative.
"When prostate cancer is found early, it can often be treated successfully," Johnson said. "The best way to find prostate cancer is to have a PSA (prostate specific antigen) blood test and a DRE (digital rectal exam) which each patient will receive during their screening.
"If there is an abnormality, patients will be informed and counseled as to course of action. The RCUI will conduct follow-ups with patients to encourage them to pursue the recommendations made for further treatment."
African American men between the ages of 35 and 65 are encouraged to take advantage of the outreach effort. There are 80 appointments available at each church.
Participating churches include Greater Middle Baptist Church, Metropolitan Baptist Church, Mississippi Boulevard Christian Church, Monumental Baptist Church, Mt. Vernon Baptist Church, Olivet Baptist Church and St. Andrew A.M.E.
The screenings are being co-sponsored by Pfizer Inc. and the American Cancer Society.