FREE CANCER SCREENINGS
Thank you to all who helped with our 2018 event.
Stay tuned for information about the next upcoming
What happens when 22 Masonic Lodges host free cancer screenings across the state of Kansas in less than nine months? You end up with almost 1,800 Kansans who have been assessed by physicians from University of Kansas Medical Center for their risk of skin and prostate cancer. Out of those 1,800 participants, you have 350 who have been referred to their local physicians in an effort to prevent a potentially life-threatening problem spotted during the screening.
The American Cancer Society reports that 3.5 million Americans are diagnosed with skin cancer every year. Almost 75,000 of those cancers are melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer. Data from the Centers for Disease Control indicates that Kansas has higher than average rates of both skin and prostrated cancer in the U.S.
Each year, dozens of Kansas Masons work with the Kansas Masonic Foundation in Topeka to provide free skin cancer, bone density and prostate screenings and breast cancer education in their communities. Nearly 4,000 Kansas residents have participated in the outreach events since their start in 2003.
The screenings often are offered in rural communities where medical specialists aren’t available.
KMF collaborated with Midwest Cancer Alliance (MCA), the outreach network of The University of Kansas Cancer Center, on quadrupling the screenings and coordinating physicians and other staff to assist with the skin and prostate screenings and bone density tests. “Between March and December of this year we will have traveled to just about every corner of Kansas to help local lodges screen residents in their communities,” said MCA’s director of outreach, Brooke Groneman.
Twenty-two cancer screenings in one year is a record for the Kansas Masons, but it’s not their first trip to the cancer prevention rodeo. In fact, the Kansas Masonic Foundation (KMF) has been supporting cancer prevention and research for more than 40 years. In addition to funding four to five yearly screenings at local lodges since 2003, the KMF created The Kansas Masonic Cancer Institute and invested more than $25 million in health initiatives like the Bob Dole Prostate Cancer Research Fund, the Oncology Nurse Navigator program and a Psychosocial Oncology Endowments at University of Kansas Medical Center.
“Based on the information we get from the screenings, it usually turns out that about 25 percent of the participants are encouraged to see someone for a follow-up appointment,” Anand Rajpara, a physician with the KU Medical Center, said. “I, myself, know of several patients seen by me and my colleagues who averted a more serious health problem because of these screenings.”
Participants typically receive screening results within two weeks.
“These cancer screening events are one of the many ways Masons are making a difference in their communities,” he said.
The Kansas Masonic Foundation was formed in 1966 to encourage philanthropy from Kansas Masons for charitable, educational and scientific programs and has built a strong Tradition of Service across the state.
The Midwest Cancer Alliance (MCA), the outreach network of The University of Kansas Cancer Center, is a membership-based organization developed to improve cancer care across the region by providing access to the latest advancements close to home. MCA links 20 hospitals and health care partners across Kansas and the western half of Missouri to lab discoveries made at the KU Cancer Center, and it also provides its members with access to major clinical trials, professional education, patient navigation services, networking and outreach opportunities.