QUINCY (WGEM) – A measure passed by Illinois lawmakers requiring insurance companies to cover doctor-recommended prostate cancer screenings is being seen as a way to encourage men to get screened.
Dr. William Severino said men ages 50 through 69 should get screened one a year or more depending on one’s genetics and family history.
He said it’s difficult to encourage patients to go through with a screening so removing a financial barrier could be a good incentive.
“Especially with inflation as high as it is, a little bit of money may mean a lot to some,” Severino said. “Some folks may decide, ‘Hey I need an extra gallon of gas versus going to get my prostate checked,’ so I would say certainly, even a small amount may persuade some folks to be screened.”
The American Cancer Society estimates 268,490 men will get prostate cancer diagnosis in 2022, 34,500 of which will be fatal.
He said the earlier the disease is caught, the easier it is to cure as symptoms of prostate don’t become obvious until the disease reaches advanced stages.
It’s a lesson Quincy resident and prostate cancer survivor Stanley Brown said he is familiar with.
After coming into the hospital last year for an injury at work, he said he was shocked when doctors told him he had stage 4 prostate cancer.
“When I turned 60, I started slowing down a little bit and I thought that was because I was because I turned 60 but they told me it was because that’s when the cancer had started in my body,” Brown said.
He got treated at the Blessing Cancer Center and he said he is still getting it monitored and treated. Brown said he hopes his story encourages men to get screened.
The bill has been sent to Governor Pritzker and is awaiting his signature.
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June 6, 2022 at 07:32AM