Medical screenings are an excellent way, if not the best way to find and prevent specific diseases. Most health care professionals advocate this type of preventive medicine. In particular, seniors will find medical screenings a pathway to healthy aging.
Happily, there are many no cost or low cost medical screenings available to seniors. Many are paid by Medicare. In addition, free screenings can be found through various organizations in the local or state government. Hospitals and even some pharmacies offer various screenings. In this article, we will look at what is available and how to access them.
Check Local Health Department
The first place to start for general information is your local health department. Next, you can try the county level. Third in line would be the state health department. Inquire if they know of any free screening events in your area. Another good source of information is your local senior center. Additionally, check the hospital in your area to see if they have any free preventive screening events planned.
Check Medical Associations
If screening for a specific disease is needed, check with the national association who’s focus is on that disease. For example, if you are looking for a free diabetes screening, call the American Diabetes Association. Calling 800-342-2383 will give you the local number. Also, cancer screening may be found through the National Cancer Institute (800-422-6237) or the American Cancer Society (800-342-2383).
However, there are also screening programs that are available that may be of interest to many seniors. Below we will outline what is available and how to obtain this service.
Cervical and Breast Cancer
Preventive Screenings for cervical and breast cancer are available for women without insurance. Call 800-232-4636, This is the number for the National Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection Program. All 50 states participate in this program.
In addition, you may already be aware of National Mammography Day. This falls on the third Friday of October, annually. You can check their website for your local screening location. It is www.nbcam.org. You will need to call and ask for an appointment. Don’t forget to ask if their screenings are at no cost.
Prostrate Cancer Screenings
September of every year is Prostrate Cancer Awareness Month. Many areas across the country offer free or low cost screenings during this time. Generally, the patient must be over 45 years old or considered high risk. A blood test will be administered as well as a rectal exam. A number you can call is 866-477-6788 for more information. Also, try 888-245-9455 for information on mobile units.
Colorectal Cancer Screenings
Screenings for Colo rectal cancer are not as easy to find. However, if you are in need of a screening and are uninsured, you can call 877-427-2111. This number connects you to the Colo-rectal Cancer Coalition. This is the best resource for information on screenings that may be available in your area.
Skin Cancer Screenings
There are a number of resources available for free or low cost skin cancer screenings. Three of them are listed below.
- American Society for Dermatology. 847-956-0900. They offer free screenings during specific months of the year. Call for details.
- Skin Cancer Foundation. 800-754-6490. They operate a Road to Healthy Skin Tour.
- Academy of Dermatology. 888-462-3376. This program will provide a free screening offered by volunteers.
Additionally, the above associations have websites that can be checked for more details on free screenings that they offer.
Kidney Disease Screening
The National Kidney Foundation offers free screenings for those that may be at risk for kidney disease. In particular, World Kidney Day is a day on which screenings may be offered at no cost across the country. Call 800-622-9010 or check their website for more information.
Center for Disease Control and Prevention
Another great source of free screenings, especially for women is the Center for Disease Control and Prevention. If you are not insured or even under-insured the CDC is an option. Also, this is a good option for low income individuals. The free screenings they offer include, blood pressure, cholesterol and diabetes. For more information they can be contacted at 800-232-4636.