Boone Hospital offers free cancer screenings to the public

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COLUMBIA — Boone Hospital gave community members a chance to receive a variety of free cancer screenings at their 3rd annual cancer screening fair Saturday. 

Health promotions nurse Pamela Jones said the idea for the cancer fair came three years ago when members of Boone Hospital realized they wanted to advertise their cancer-related services to the public. 

"We have about 200 individuals that come through, we offer a complimentary skin cancer screening exam, PSA screenings and we have information available for community members to schedule their mammograms," Jones said. 

She said the fair also offered pulmonary function testing, information on lung cancer screening and smoking cessation. 

Jones said she was excited to see more participants at this year's fair.

"Last year we had about 100 people come through and we did about 70 skin cancer screenings," Jones said. "This year we plan to have about 200 come through and we'll be doing 115 skin cancer screenings." 

Jones said the skin cancer screenings are important because about 1 in 5 Americans will develop some type of skin cancer in their lifetime.

"The best way to treat skin cancer is to prevent it from the get-go or to catch it in its very early stages," Jones said. 

She said the fair brought in nurse practitioners and dermatologists to inspect the individuals for any signs of skin cancer. 

"If anything looks suspicious or abnormal, they're encouraged to follow up with their primary care physician to determine if its skin cancer," Jones said.