The free cancer screening to be offered in Florence on May 23 isn’t an activity Les Allison and other members of Masonic Advance Lodge 114 are doing just because Kansas Masonic Foundation has made cancer a signature cause.
Lodge members have seen the devastating effects cancer has had on their Florence neighbor and friend Richard Riggs, Allison’s son-in-law. The group has responded with fundraising efforts to help with the costs of treatment and transportation. Allison doesn’t want to have to do the same for anyone else.
“If Richard had received screening earlier, he might have received treatment more quickly,” Allison said.
Riggs’ case motivated the lodge to lobby for and get one of 22 free screenings throughout the state that are sponsored by the Kansas Masonic Foundation in conjunction with Midwest Cancer Alliance and the University of Kansas Cancer Center.
The team coming to Florence will conduct screens for skin and prostate cancer, and also will test for osteoporosis, Midwest Cancer Alliance Director of Outreach Brooke Groneman said.
Two dermatologists will examine skin for possible cancer signs. Whether people want a specific area looked at or want a full body exam, the setup at Florentine Masonic Center will ensure appropriate levels of privacy, Groneman said.
“They will do as much or as little as people are comfortable with,” she said.
Participants will receive a form with details of their observations to be shared with their personal physicians if a referral is recommended, and MCA will follow up with a reminder a few months after the screen, Groneman said.
A lab technician and urologist will screen for prostate cancer. Blood drawn for prostate-specific antigen testing, also known as a PSA test, will be taken back to KU Medical Center for testing.
“Anybody who has an abnormal PSA result, the urologist will reach out with a phone call,” Groneman said.
All that’s required for the bone density test is for a person to remove one shoe and sock and place their foot in a scanner. Groneman said the scanner reads the density of the heel bone, which is a good predictor of overall bone density.
“They’ll get the feedback right there,” she said.
Also available will be a Dermascan machine, which Groneman said shows sun damage on a person’s face that can’t be seen with the naked eye.
“They put their face in the machine, and they will be able to see themselves,” she said. “It jolts people sometimes. It demonstrates the importance of using sunscreen.”
Predicting how many people will come to a particular screening is hard, Groneman said, but numbers aren’t as important to the team as making the service available.
“We figure even if we help one person, we consider that a success,” she said.
Screenings will be from 9 a.m. to noon May 23 at Florentine Masonic Center, 417 Main St., Florence. For additional information, call (620) 382-7310.