Cancer patient helps promote free prostate cancer screening in Quad Cities

QUAD CITIES (KWQC) - A PSA blood test can be a lifesaver. Just ask Mark Werning. He has been keeping track of his PSA (prostate-specific antigen) level because of a history of prostate cancer in his family. Last March, he was diagnosed with prostate cancer. But with early detection, he says cancer has not spread through the rest of his body.

It's that kind of success story that UsToo, a cancer support group in the Quad Cities, hopes to hear more of. The group has teamed up with area businesses to offer free PSA tests.

The organization has been involved in free screening offers before, but Bill Palos, Executive Director of UsToo Greater Quad Cities says the problem is finding men who are willing to be tested.

"I think it's a man problem," Palos said. "Men have a tendency to not want to have the test done, primarily because they think they're gonna have a blood test and a digital rectal exam. And in this case, we don't have a digital rectal exam. It's strictly a blood test.," he added.

Now, through June 30, 2017, UsToo, Metropolitan Medical Laboratory, as well as local banks and businesses are offering vouchers for free PSA tests. You pick up the voucher at a participating location and take it to a Quad City Metropolitan Medical Laboratory listed on the back. No appointment is necessary.

Palos says the effort is also aimed at women.

"We felt that getting to the women is what we really needed to do because most women are looking at the health history of the family and usually encourage their husbands to participate.

Werning encourages everyone to get involved.

"And it's not just the husbands. I mean, look out for the uncles and brothers and friends. It's very important," he added.

Werning has surgery scheduled next month to have his prostate removed, but remains positive about the outcome.

Vouchers for a free PSA blood test can be found at the following locations:

American Bank & Trust
Triumph Community Bank
La Flama, Davenport
La Casa Moline
La Rancherita Rock Island
Rock Island Parks Hiland Springs Golf Course
Precision Dental Lab Davenport
Martin Luther King Center Rock Island

Metro Lab hours for PSA screenings are on the back of the voucher
Mon-Fri 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sat-Sun. 6 a.m. - 12 p.m.

*Note: Rudy's Tacos is a supporting sponsor, but will not have vouchers available.