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Siteman Cancer Center launches cancer screening initiative to address racial disparities

Initiative includes educational campaign, opportunities for free prostate cancer screenings in St. Louis area

May 22, 2023

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Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men and the second most common cause of cancer death. However, African American men have a 60% higher incidence of prostate cancer and the highest mortality rate of prostate cancer worldwide.

Siteman Cancer Center at Barnes-Jewish Hospital and Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis is launching a prostate cancer screening initiative along with an educational campaign in the St. Louis region to address this racial disparity in prostate cancer. Support for this initiative is provided by AstraZeneca, a global, science-led biopharmaceutical company.

The educational campaign will aim to spread awareness among African American men in the St. Louis area about their higher risk for prostate cancer (one in six Black men) and why they need to start screening for prostate cancer at ages 40 to 45. In addition to providing education on prostate cancer risks, Siteman is providing access to free prostate cancer screenings with the prostate specific antigen (PSA) test. The PSA test is a simple blood test to measure the amount of PSA protein produced by the prostate. Elevated PSA levels may be an indicator of prostate problems such as prostate cancer.

Siteman is offering several ways for men to get screened for prostate cancer through its website, On the website, men can search by ZIP code to find a screening location near them, or men 40 or older can request a voucher for a free screening through Washington University’s Program for the Elimination of Cancer Disparities (PECaD). These vouchers can be used for free PSA screenings at the lab in the Center for Advanced Medicine on the Washington University Medical Campus or at Christian Hospital in north St. Louis County. Walk-ins are available, but appointments are preferred by calling PECaD at 314-286-2587.

A calendar of free prostate cancer screening events is also available on the website, which includes screening events hosted by community partners, including local churches and other organizations.

About Washington University School of Medicine

WashU Medicine is a global leader in academic medicine, including biomedical research, patient care and educational programs with 2,800 faculty. Its National Institutes of Health (NIH) research funding portfolio is the third largest among U.S. medical schools, has grown 52% in the last six years, and, together with institutional investment, WashU Medicine commits well over $1 billion annually to basic and clinical research innovation and training. Its faculty practice is consistently within the top five in the country, with more than 1,800 faculty physicians practicing at 65 locations and who are also the medical staffs of Barnes-Jewish and St. Louis Children’s hospitals of BJC HealthCare. WashU Medicine has a storied history in MD/PhD training, recently dedicated $100 million to scholarships and curriculum renewal for its medical students, and is home to top-notch training programs in every medical subspecialty as well as physical therapy, occupational therapy, and audiology and communications sciences.


About Siteman Cancer Center

Siteman Cancer Center, ranked the No. 10 cancer treatment center by U.S. News & World Report, also is one of only a few cancer centers to receive the highest rating of the National Cancer Institute (NCI) – “exceptional.” Comprising the cancer research, prevention and treatment programs of Barnes-Jewish Hospital and Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, Siteman treats adults at six locations, including an inpatient hospital, and partners with St. Louis Children’s Hospital in the treatment of pediatric patients. Siteman is Missouri’s only NCI-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center and the state’s only member of the National Comprehensive Cancer Network. Through the Siteman Cancer Network, Siteman Cancer Center works with regional medical centers to improve the health and well-being of people and communities by expanding access to cancer prevention and control strategies, clinical studies and genomic and genetic testing, all aimed at reducing the burden of cancer.