Phoebe Putney holds cancer screenings - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Phoebe Putney holds cancer screenings

ALBANY, GA (WALB) -

Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital kicked off Head and Neck Cancer Awareness Week by providing free neck and head cancer screenings Saturday.

Doctor's are seeing a rise in the area for cancer victims.

They think health care costs may be to blame, by preventing patients who can't afford it from having their health checked regularly.

"We are seeing more and more patients with advance cancer being diagnosed in the emergency room because they can't get in to see a primary care doctor, so we thought the best way to help those folks is to offer free screening clinics," said Charles Mendenhall, Medical Director of Radiation Oncology.

And that's just what Phoebe Putney Memorial hospital did.

They held free head and neck cancer screenings to do everything they can to help prevent more victims in Albany and physicians say the best way to fight cancer all together is to catch it early on.

"Patient has a problem. We can pick it up early. The earlier we pick up a cancer, the higher the rate," said Mendenhall.  

Registration began two weeks ago for anyone in the area to sign up for free screenings.

The hospital had 6 doctors available to examine the head and neck of around 50 to 70 patients.

They say the examination is quick and painless, but it can make a world of difference if they catch cancer in its early stages.

"Smooth operation, our participants have been able to come in and get right back out with little to no waiting at all. The longest wait is having to fill out the form," said Patricia Swain, Outreach Program Coordination for Phoebe Putney Cancer Center.

Even though it's the first head and neck cancer screening they've held, organizers say they're already seeing results.

"Had a few we've had to make referrals for further examination. So, that's a good thing that they came in," said Swain.

They're hoping the event will only get larger to fill the needs here in the community.

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