Community Outreach: Dante
In Baltimore City, where prostate cancer rates are among the highest in the nation, there are many barriers to good medical care. Lack of health insurance, low income, and increasingly language keep many citizens from being screened for cancer. All three of these factors were obstacles for Dante, an auto mechanic and East Baltimore resident. During a visit to Esperanza Center, a Catholic Charities organization that provides services to new immigrants, he learned about a free cancer screening program in conjunction with the Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center. At age 59, Dante received his first-ever prostate exam and PSA screening test for prostate cancer. Two years later, he received a reminder letter telling him it was time to be screened again. He scheduled an appointment for a free screening offered through a joint program of the Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center and Sinai Hospital. This time, the test revealed that he had prostate cancer. After undergoing prostate cancer surgery at Johns Hopkins, he says, “Everything is fine.” He credits the screening program with saving his life. Without it, he believes he would never have gone for a cancer screening.
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