PLAINVILLE — Local Masons will host a free cancer screening from 9 a.m. to noon June 10 during the Paradise Creek Festival at Paradise Masonic Lodge, 109 S. Main. The screening is open to the public. It is one of 28 free cancer prevention events the Kansas Masonic Foundation is sponsoring across the state in 2017.

KMF conducts the screenings in partnership with the Midwest Cancer Alliance, the outreach division of the University of Kansas Cancer Center, and KU Medical Center staff. According to Brooke Groneman, the outreach director for MCA, nearly 7,000 Kansas residents have attended the Masonic screenings in the past few years. The event in Rooks County is being coordinated by Masonic volunteers from Paradise Lodge No. 290 and includes free skin and prostate cancer screenings, Screen-to-Save colon cancer screening home kits, facial sun damage assessments, bone density and BMI tests and health education materials.

Darren Rubottom, a volunteer from Lodge No. 290, notes the 2017 screening will mark the first time the lodge has hosted the event in Rooks County. The lodge chose the weekend of the Paradise Creek Festival in hopes of providing the screenings to visitors, as well as local residents.

According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, approximately 6,000 Americans are diagnosed with some form of skin cancer every day, and more than 200 of those are diagnosed with melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that, in Kansas, cancer is the leading cause of death and the region has higher than average rates of skin cancer, compared to other parts of the U.S.

“When we catch cancer in its early stages, it can make a big difference in successful treatment,” said dermatologist Aly Barland, MD.

“It makes the foundation proud to see the Paradise Lodge offer these free, life-saving health services to their friends and neighbors in northwest Kansas,” said Robert Shively, director of KMF.

In addition to funding screenings at local lodges for more than 15 years, the KMF created the Kansas Masonic Cancer Institute and developed health initiatives such as the Bob Dole Prostate Cancer Research Fund and the Oncology Nurse Navigator and Psychosocial Oncology Endowments at University of Kansas Medical Center in the past few decades.

“It’s hard to think of an easier, more affordable way to avoid some serious health problems,” Rubottom said.

For more information on the screening event in Plainville, call (785) 769-3113.

To learn more about the Kansas Masonic Foundation, call (785) 357-7646, and for information on KMF’s other free cancer screening events in 2017, contact the Midwest Cancer Alliance at (913) 588-4719.