Community Benefit Stories
Free Prostate Cancer Screening Benefits Thousands
If anyone ever doubted the value of the free prostate screening clinic at Miller Park that Froedtert & The Medical College of Wisconsin sponsor with the Milwaukee Brewers and the National Prostate Cancer Coalition, all they have to do is look at the numbers.
2009 is the third consecutive year that Froedtert Hospital and its partner, the Medical College of Wisconsin, have offered the free screening at Miller Park, bringing the three-year total to more than 1500 men who have been checked for prostate cancer—some for the first time. Many who came to the first screening in 2007 have returned in subsequent years, acknowledging the importance of an annual checkup. As with most cancers, early detection is key to surviving prostate cancer.
“I’m not here for the free Brewers tickets, I’m here for my health,” said Sam, who waited in line for more than an hour to get his free exam.
The numbers have grown steadily. In 2007, the event’s first year, 405 men were screened. Last year, 471 men were screened. And this year, perhaps bolstered by the loss of health insurance that comes with unemployment, a record 646 men completed the screening.
Though impressive, the turnout doesn’t tell the whole story. The real story is in the statistics. While final numbers for this year’s clinic are not available yet, in 2008 about 14% had abnormal PSA levels, while another nearly 9% had suspicious digital rectal exams (DRE). Two years ago, results were similar with nearly 15% having elevated PSA levels and 10% had abnormal DREs.
Each screening is valued at approximately $240, representing nearly $100,000 in free care to the community over the past three years. Froedtert & The Medical College absorbs the cost of physicians, phlebotomists, nurses and support staff who work at the eight-hour event. This year, Froedtert Hospital Foundation donors provided funds for a second clinic van, allowing more efficient, faster screening of the participants. Men who are unable to come to the Miller Park event can make an appointment at Froedtert Hospital, where free screenings are offered year-around.
Men who complete the ballpark screening are rewarded with a voucher for two tickets to a Milwaukee Brewers home game, but they and their families receive additional benefits – the peace of mind that comes from a clean screening or early detection of potential disease, when the likelihood of curative treatment is far greater.
Last Review Date: Oct. 23, 2009
Online Editor(s): Richard Petre