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M. D. Anderson Launches Prostate Outreach Project Mobile Unit for Prostate Cancer Awareness Month

M. D. Anderson Launches Prostate Outreach Project Mobile Unit for Prostate Cancer Awareness Month
M. D. Anderson News Release 09/01/04

The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center is taking prostate cancer awareness on the road this September. During weekends in September, the M. D. Anderson’s Prostate Outreach Project (POP) will make use of a mobile screening unit to bring free prostate cancer screenings and information to communities that are traditionally home to high-risk and medically-underserved populations.

M. D. Anderson physicians, nurses and staff will travel with the mobile screening unit every Saturday and Sunday in September to 12 Fiesta stores throughout the greater Houston area, in an effort to reach those men at greatest risk of prostate cancer – African-American men age 40 and older. The first screening event takes place Saturday, September 3, and continues every weekend in September until Sunday, September 26.

Prostate cancer is the most common cancer among men, but African-American men have the highest rate of prostate cancer in the world, according to the National Cancer Institute. There is a 60 percent higher incidence of prostate cancer in African-American men than Caucasian men. African-American men also are twice as likely to die from the disease than other ethnic or racial group.

“Since May 2003, when we launched POP, we have seen more than 500 high-risk men at our weekly screenings in Acres Homes and the Third Ward,” said Curtis Pettaway, M.D., director of the Prostate Outreach Project and a prostate cancer specialist at M. D. Anderson, “but there are many more high-risk men in need of this information and these services that we are enlisting a mobile unit in September to bring the services to them.”

For men screened through the Prostate Outreach Project who require follow up, referrals will be made based on the need for further evaluation. A POP staff member will contact each man with the results of this screening. For those men who require additional follow-up and who are underinsured or uninsured, a staff member will help them find assistance to receive care.

“Our efforts to educate and follow-up with those men who need additional care are so important,” Pettaway said. “Historically, there has been some distrust of the medical community among African-Americans and we hope our work shows our commitment to the community is genuine.”

The free screenings include a digital rectal exam (DRE) and a blood test that measures prostate specific antigen (PSA). Men who are screened will be asked to complete a brief, confidential questionnaire regarding their personal and family medical histories. Prior to a screening, men are also involved in an educational session about prostate cancer that addresses risk, prevention and treatment of the disease. Volunteers, who are prostate cancer survivors, will be on-hand at the screening locations to offer support and answer questions.

M. D. Anderson Cancer Center recommends yearly digital rectal exams and PSA tests for African-American men beginning at age 45. For African-American men who have a family history of prostate cancer (a father, brother, grandfather or uncle), screening should begin at age 40.

The mobile screening unit used by POP is partially funded by Procter & Gamble and a part of M. D. Anderson’s Prostate Cancer Awareness Month activities in September.
Appointments are recommended, but walk-ups will be seen. For appointments or information, please call (713) 563-1371.

For more information about prostate cancer, visit


7510 Belfort   Sat., 9/4/04  (9 a.m. – noon)
5600 Mykawa   Sat., 9/4/04  (3 – 6 p.m.)
2323 Wirt Rd    Sun., 9/5/04 (3 – 6 p.m.)
5815 Lockwood    Sat., 9/11/04 (9 a.m. – noon)
5800 Lyons    Sat., 9/11/04 (3 – 6 p.m.)
4711 Airline   Sun., 9/12/04  (3 – 6 p.m.)
9420 Cullen   Sat., 9/18/04  (9 a.m. – noon)
8130 Kirby   Sat., 9/18/04  (3 – 6 p.m.)
9419 Mesa    Sun., 9/19/04 (3 – 6 p.m.)
11214 Fondren   Sat., 9/25/04  (9 a.m. – noon)
12355 Main   Sat., 9/25/04  (3 – 6 p.m.)
10401 Jensen   Sun., 9/26/04  (3 – 6 p.m.)

© 2015 The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center