In recognition of National Men’s Health Month, the Gift of Life with medical partner, Baptist Hospitals, and local healthcare providers will provide free screenings and vital healthcare information to hundreds of medically underserved Southeast Texas men.

June screening sites are scheduled in Beaumont, Port Arthur and Orange and eligible men will receive a range of free healthcare services, including consultations with medical professionals to discuss the screenings and significance of test results and healthy lifestyle  practices, prostate-specific antigen (PSA)  blood tests from Baptist Hospital phlebotomists, cholesterol and glucose tests, blood pressure testing by Lamar University nursing students, HIV screenings from representatives of the Baptist Cancer Center and Hepatitis C screenings by Triangle Aids Network representatives. Educational materials will also be provided by the Gift of Life with access to regional healthcare resources made available by UTMB, Triangle Aids Network, Spindletop Centers and Mental Health of Americas.

These screenings are essential to the ever-increasing need for healthcare services in our region. Early detection is the best protection and statistics reflect that the five-year survival rate for men whose prostate cancer is diagnosed early is nearly 100 percent.

Since 2000, the Gift of Life has made available nearly 7,500 free prostate cancer screenings and helped extend the lives of 64 men who have been diagnosed with prostate cancer and whose diagnostic and cancer treatment costs were entirely underwritten by the Gift of Life.

During the last 24 months, seven men have been diagnosed with prostate cancer and navigated by a Gift of Life case manager through cancer treatment, support services and other immediate resources, when needed.

As part of the continuum of care, the Gift of Life established a Prostate Cancer Support Group called Men Against Cancer, to offer support before, during and after treatment. Meetings are hosted the second Tuesday of each month at St. Mark’s Episocopal Church and provide an opportunity for men to meet others who share their experiences, with speakers providing information that helps to strengthen recovery and one-on-one support.

Prostate cancer screenings will be held in Beaumont (Saturday, June 14), Orange (Saturday, June 21) and Port Arthur (Saturday, June 28).

The Gift of Life screens men who are at least 45 years of age (40 if African American or younger if there is a family history of prostate cancer) who have not had prostate cancer, have limited income and are medically underinsured.

Call the Gift of Life to find out if you qualify for a screening and to make an appointment: (409) 833-3663.