Beebe Medical Center to host free prostate cancer screening

Owen Thomas, MD, a radiation oncologist at Beebe Medical Center’s Tunnell Cancer Center, urges men to be screened for prostate cancer. It is the second-leading cause of cancer death in men. More than 28,000 men die from prostate cancer each year. 

Dr. Thomas knows that the early diagnosis of prostate cancer means a better outcome for the patient, but he also knows that a diagnosis of cancer does not commit a person to treatment. Rather, the next steps always should be discussed with the patient and his physician to agree upon a treatment regimen.  

Tunnell Cancer Center will host a free prostate cancer screening for men who qualify, Thursday, October 17, at the Beebe Health Campus on Route 24 in Rehoboth Beach.  

One in six men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer. Early detection may be the key to saving men’s lives.

Thomas said men between the ages of 50 and 70 should be tested because they are at a higher risk. He said African Americans are also at higher risk, as are those with a family history of prostate cancer.  

“Knowledge is power,” Thomas said. “Outcomes are exceptionally good with a diagnosis of early cancer.”   The Prostate Specific Antigen test – a blood test for prostate cancer – can determine if you have a higher risk for prostate cancer.  

“We are dedicated to providing high-quality healthcare to our community,” said Debbie Campbell, RN and Cancer Screening Nurse Navigator at Tunnell Cancer Center. “Educating our community about common health problems and healthcare options related to those problems is an important part of this mission.”  

Possible benefits of a PSA test:

· A normal PSA test may put your mind at ease.

· A PSA test may find prostate cancer early before it has spread.

· Early treatment of prostate cancer may help some men slow the spread of the disease.

· Early treatment may help some men live longer.  

Some risks associated with the PSA test:

· The PSA test is not perfect. A normal PSA test may miss some prostate cancers.

· Sometimes the test results suggest something is wrong when it isn’t – a false positive.

· This false positive test may lead to an unnecessary prostate biopsy.

· A positive PSA test may find a prostate cancer that is slow-growing and may never have caused health problems.

· Treatment of prostate cancer can cause side effects such as issues getting an erection, leaking urine or bowel function.

It is because of these potential risks, Beebe Medical Center provides a free discussion with a healthcare provider prior to the screening test.    

“It is better to make an informed decision,” Thomas said. “Here at Tunnell, we get a lot of referrals for treatment of prostate cancer. Radiation therapy is the standard treatment, but a cancer screening does not commit anyone to treatment.”  

After the prostate screening, the lab results will be reviewed by a Tunnell Cancer Center physician. All results are then sent to the patient and to the patient’s primary care physician.

If action is recommended, a cancer screening nurse navigator will be assigned to assist the patient.   Pre-registration is required. To pre-register for the event or learn if you qualify, call Debbie Campbell, the Cancer Screening Nurse Navigator, at (302) 645-3169.

To learn more about prostate cancer, go to or   The Tunnell Cancer Center is located at 18947 John J. Williams Highway, Rehoboth Beach.  

About Tunnell Cancer Center was established in 1995. It has received the Commission on Cancer's highest accreditation with commendation as a comprehensive community cancer center. Its clinical specialties are medical oncology/hematology and radiation oncology. It also offers a multidisciplinary approach for planning all cancer treatment. Nearly 300 patients visit the center each day.  

Beebe Medical Center is a not-for-profit community healthcare system with a charitable mission to encourage healthy living, prevent illness, and restore optimal health for the people residing, working, or visiting in the communities we serve. It offers services throughout Southern Delaware including a 210-licensed-bed hospital, a cancer center, and outpatient facilities at multiple sites providing lab, imaging, physical rehab services and walk-in care. For more information, please visit us online at   Caption: Dr. Owen Thomas, radiation oncologist at Tunnell Cancer Center