The George Washington University Hospital, the GW Medical Faculty Associates, and the GW School of Medicine and Health Sciences screened 63 members of the community during its annual Free Cancer Screening Day, Sept. 13. Free screenings were offered to the community on a first-come, first-served basis from 9 a.m. – 2 p.m. Services offered included full body skin screenings, prostate exams, manual breast exams, and head and neck exams, as well as access to the GW Mammovan.
“This is an important way for us as surgeons to reach out to the community to increase awareness of oral cancer,” said Nitin Patel, M.D., a fourth-year Otolaryngology/Head and Neck Surgery Resident who participated in the event. “It provides a great forum to stress smoking cessation and teach routine self-examinations.”
Compton Benjamin, M.D., Ph.D., G.M.E. ’09, assistant professor of urology at SMHS and Clinical Director of Urologic Oncology at the GW Hospital, was amongst the faculty clinicians who performed screenings during the event. Fewer patients requested screening for prostate cancer this year, which Benjamin attributes to the recent recommendations of the U.S. Preventative Services Task Force against Prostate-Specific Antigen (PSA) tests for prostate cancer. Benjamin was excited to be able to participate in the screening day, which he says is “a necessary service because we have a population that is at high risk for prostate cancer” in Washington, D.C.