ALTON — OSF Saint Anthony’s Cancer Center of Excellence, in partnership with the 100 Black Men of Alton, is offering free men’s health screenings at the Alton Acres Community Center, 316 Acorn St.
The screenings will be 10 a.m. to noon Saturday, May 7, and include free PSA blood tests, as well as digital rectal exams by Dr. James Piephoff, a board-certified radiation oncologist.
The American Cancer Society estimates one in five African-American men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer within a lifespan. It’s a stat that serves as a call to action for 100 Black Men of Alton.
“We try to lead by example,” 100 Black Men of Alton Chapter President Anthony Booker said. “If we can raise awareness and save one person’s life — or at least get them tested early — we are making a real difference. That’s why this initiative is so important to us.”
Piephoff echoed the importance of screenings and said he hopes the experience will inspire men to talk about the process.
“My goal for the screening is to encourage each man I see to encourage a friend or family member to get screened if they never have,” he said. “I also think it’s important to get the word out that it’s not a painful or embarrassing thing to do, and hopefully remove the stigma from prostate cancer screenings.”
The American Cancer Society recommends men discuss the possible risks and benefits of prostate cancer screening with their doctor before deciding whether to be screened. The discussion about screening should take place starting at age 50 for men who are at average risk of prostate cancer and expect to live at least 10 more years. It should take place at age 45 for men who are at higher risk, including African-American men and men who have a father or brother diagnosed with prostate cancer, and at age 40 for men at even higher risk.
Screenings are by appointment and space is limited. To schedule an appointment, call (618) 465-2264.