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Mount Sinai Mobile Prostate Cancer Screening Unit helping thousands of men across New York City

Mount Sinai aims to address prostate cancer statistics with mobile screenings
Mount Sinai aims to address prostate cancer statistics with mobile screenings 02:18

NEW YORK -- An effort is being rolled out in New York City to address prostate cancer rates.

Prostate cancer is the second most common form of cancer for men in the United States with about 1 in 8 being diagnosed in their lifetime.

While grabbing groceries at Food Bank for New York City in Harlem, Glendon Cooper got even more than he came for; within minutes, he was in the hands of health care workers, getting screened for prostate cancer in the Mount Sinai Robert F. Smith Mobile Prostate Cancer Screening Unit.

"Easy, accessible and it was good," Cooper said.

Dr. Ash Tewari, director of the Center of Excellence for Prostate Cancer at Mount Sinai's Tisch Cancer Center, says the mobile unit brings free screenings straight to communities he says need it most.

"People don't have to miss their job ... We're coming to you," Tewari said.

He shared Black men have a 70% higher rate of developing high-risk prostate cancer and they are also more than twice as likely to die from it. It's the second most common form of cancer in men.

"I think it's very important for men to pay attention because it's a real threat," patient James Melbourne said.

It was for Melbourne, who had no symptoms, but early detection saved his life.

"We really don't want to wait for the symptoms to come beyond a certain age. And especially if in Black men, 40 to 45 years of age, is a good time to start looking for a blood test," Tewari said.

That blood test is done right on the mobile unit with results in 23 minutes. Follow-up exams can also be done on the bus.

In two years, more than 5,500 people were screened on board. Nearly 20%, including Brooklyn resident Virgil Kizer, required a follow-up.

"By this bus showing up at my work site, was just heaven sent," he said.

That's when Kizer learned his diagnosis, and it was health care coming to him that made all the difference.

"It's been over a year now, and I'm cancer-free," he said.

The bus has made trips out-of-state to New Jersey, Connecticut and even as far as Florida, with the goal to continue bringing it around the country and reach 1 million people.

The American Urological Association recommends all men above 55 and all Black men above 45 consult with their doctors to discuss the benefits of screening.

For more information about mobile screenings in the city, visit Mount Sinai's website.

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