Arlington clinic will offer free prostate cancer screenings. Here’s what you need to know
By Ciara McCarthy, January 20, 2023
Free prostate cancer screenings will be available in Arlington on Friday, one of multiple free cancer screening events coming up in Tarrant County.
Men who don’t have health insurance or who are underinsured can get a blood test that can detect signs of possible prostate cancer at Friday’s event. The screening is hosted by the Moncrief Cancer Institute’s mobile screening program, which offers thousands of free cancer screenings annually to people who don’t have health insurance.
Friday’s clinic will be at the Bob Duncan Center in Arlington between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m.
Patients can make an appointment or walk in to get the simple blood test that looks for prostate specific antigens in blood. The test takes about 10 minutes to complete, said Stacie Miller, oncology clinic manager for Moncrief, and patients should get their results within 24 hours.
Friday’s clinic is one of multiple offered by the Moncrief Cancer Institute, which received $9 million in federal recovery funds to provide cancer screenings to the estimated 18% of residents who don’t have health insurance.
Although oncologists are still trying to understand the full impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on cancer diagnoses, early data suggests that as routine care was disrupted, some patients might have missed regular screenings, thus delaying the detection of certain types of cancers. The earlier cancer is detected, the easier and less expensive it is to treat, and the greater the chances of survival for the patient.
“We’re finding this cancer early, and we’re giving people a very, very good chance to live so that they can work, so that they can be with their families, so that they can enjoy a much fuller life,” the institute’s director Dr. Keith Argenbright, told the Star-Telegram last year. “But at the same time ... we’re eliminating health care costs that otherwise would have to be borne by the system down the road.”
Prostate cancer is one of only a handful of cancers that can be detected in its earliest stages, before causing symptoms.
If elevated levels of prostate specific antigens are detected in a patient’s blood sample, it could indicate that a patient has prostate cancer or it could indicate another issue, Miller said. If a patient has elevated levels, one of Moncrief’s nurse navigators will contact them to let them know about next steps. Depending on the test results, patients might be advised to wait several months and retake the test or to get a biopsy or an MRI.
Moncrief’s mobile screening program also provides mammograms, which screen for breast cancer, and Pap tests, which screen for cervical cancer. The program offers at-home colorectal cancer screening and can provide free lung cancer screening for patients who are referred by a doctor.
The free screenings are available to anyone with a prostate between the ages of 40 and 69 and who doesn’t have health insurance or would otherwise have trouble paying for the test. The American Cancer Society recommends annual screening starting at age 50 for people with an average risk of prostate cancer.
Anyone with a higher risk of prostate cancer, including people with a family history of prostate cancer and Black men, should start getting screened at a younger age, according to the guidelines.
MORE INFORMATION AND UPCOMING CLINICS:
- Friday, Jan. 20, 9 a.m. until 3 p.m.: Mobile screening at Bob Duncan Center, 2800 S. Center St., Arlington, TX 76014.
- Saturday, Feb. 25, 10 a.m. until 2 p.m.: Mobile screening at Hispanic Wellness Coalition Health Fair at Asia Times Square, 2625 W. Pioneer Parkway, Grand Prairie, TX 75051.
- Saturday, March 4, 9 a.m. until 2 p.m.: Mobile screening at Unity in the Community at Dunbar High School, 5700 Ramey Ave., Fort Worth, TX 76112.
- Saturday, April 1, 8 a.m. until 3 p.m.: Screening available at Moncrief Cancer Institute, 400 W. Magnolia Ave., Fort Worth, TX 76104.
- Screening is available by appointment every Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m. Call 817-288-9970 or visit moncrief.com/screening to make an appointment.