Mercy to offer free cancer screenings

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. - Mercy Cancer Resource Center is offering a free cancer screening day at Fairbanks Resource Center, located at 1126 N. Broadway Ave. in Springfield. The event will be from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. April 20.

Mercy providers will be performing mammograms, head and neck cancer screenings, body mass index checks to evaluate obesity, and giving advice on smoking cessation. In addition, the first 10 people who qualify will receive a free lung scan.

“A low-radiation CT scan to check for lung cancer can pick up a tumor as small as a grain of rice,” Dr. Sadaf Sohrab, Mercy pulmonologist, said in a news release. “If you have smoked more than a pack of cigarettes a day for 30 years and quit less than 15 years ago, and are between the ages of 54 to 75 years old, then you should have a scan.”

Lung cancer is one of the deadliest, killing more people than breast, prostate and colon cancer combined. “Eighty percent of lung cancer is caused by smoking, and it’s also a major cause of head and neck cancers,” said Dr. Sohrab. “That’s one reason we’re combining screenings with tips on kicking the habit.”

Participants need to pre-register for mammograms by calling 417-820-2790, or by registering in person prior to the event at Fairbanks Resource Center. Mammograms are for women ages 40 and older. The other screenings and health risk assessments will be on a first-come, first-served basis.

Mercy is partnering with the American Cancer Society, Breast Cancer Foundation of the Ozarks, Show Me Healthy Women, the Springfield-Greene County Park Board and the Springfield-Greene County Health Department for this event.