Local Masons will host a free cancer screening on Saturday, Oct. 17. Held from 9 a.m. to noon at the Emporia Masonic Lodge on 424 Merchant St., it is one of 22 free cancer awareness events sponsored across the state this year by the Kansas Masonic Foundation. The screening is open to the public.
KMF conducts the screenings in partnership with the Midwest Cancer Alliance (MCA), the outreach division of The University of Kansas Cancer Center, and KU Medical Center medical staff. According to Brooke Groneman, the outreach director for MCA, more than 4,000 Kansas residents have attended the Masonic screenings over the past few years. The event in Lyon County will include skin and prostate cancer screenings as well as bone density tests and breast cancer information.
Local Masonic volunteer, Dave Hendricks, says the Emporia Lodge screened close to 125 people when it hosted a similar event nine years ago. “We hope to reach even more people this time around,” adds Hendricks.
According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, 5,600 Americans are diagnosed with some form of skin cancer every day and 205 of those are diagnosed with melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer. Close to 9,000 Americans die of skin cancer every year and the Centers for Disease Control reports that Kansas has higher than average rates of skin cancer in the U.S.
“The sooner melanomas are diagnosed and treated, the better your chance of recovery,” says dermatologist Kim Tefft, M.D.
“The cancer screening in Emporia is an excellent example of one of the many ways Kansas Masonic Lodges support their communities,” says Robert Shively, Director of the KMF.
In addition to funding the screenings for the past 13 years, the KMF created The Kansas Masonic Cancer Institute and developed health initiatives like the Bob Dole Prostate Cancer Research Fund and the Oncology Nurse Navigator and Psychosocial Oncology Endowments at University of Kansas Medical Center over the past few decades.
“These life-saving screenings are free, quick and easy,” promises Hendricks.
To learn more about the screening event call 620-757-6168. For information on the Kansas Masonic Foundation’s other free cancer screening events in 2015 contact the Midwest Cancer Alliance at 913-588-4719 or the Kansas Masonic Foundation at 785-357-7646.