Eddie Check offers men an annual PSA test for prostate cancer free of charge

Annual event offers free PSA test for prostate cancer to combat delay in cancer screenings

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The COVID pandemic has led to an increase in delayed cancer screenings. Many people postponed routine tests that could help with early detection, such as the PSA test for prostate cancer. That made this year’s Eddie Check more important than ever. After postponing the annual blood drive and free PSA screening event in 2020 due to COVID, organizers got to work to make sure the 2-day event would return in 2021. On Thursday, September 9 and Friday, September 10, hundreds of men across East Tennessee received a free PSA screening, which can indicate various prostate issues, such as infection, inflammation, or even cancer.

Prostate Cancer Prevalence

Prostate cancer is the 2nd most common cancer among males in the United States, behind only skin cancer. It’s also the 2nd leading cause of cancer death among American men. The American Cancer Society estimates about 248,530 new cases and more than 34,000 deaths from prostate cancer in 2021 alone. The numbers suggest one in eight men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer at some point in his life, and one in every 41 will die from it.

While prostate cancer can certainly be a serious disease, there is still good news. Most men diagnosed with prostate cancer will not die from it. In fact, if prostate cancer is caught early, the 5-year survival rate is nearly 100%!

Pandemic Delays Screenings

At the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, lock-down orders were issued across the country and doctors’ offices temporarily closed their doors. This brought on a troubling delay in routine cancer screenings. A report from the IQVIA Institute for Human Data Science estimates the pandemic resulted in a significant drop in screenings from April to June 2020. That includes:

  • 22 million missed cancer screenings
  • 60% fewer PSA tests
  • 80,000 patients at risk for delayed or missed cancer diagnoses

Combating the Problem

To help make up for those missed screenings, a group of East Tennessee businesses came together to give men in our community easy and free access to a PSA test for prostate cancer screening. Two thumbs up for Eddie Check 2021, a free PSA testing event and blood driveProvision CARES Proton Therapy, Nisus Corporation, MEDIC Regional Blood Center, and American Esoteric Laboratories (AEL) teamed up for Eddie Check 2021. This annual event provides free PSA screening for prostate cancer during the 2-day blood drive. By visiting any Eddie Check location, men can quickly and easily get a blood sample drawn for the screening.

This free PSA screening is recommended for men aged 40 or older. For those men donating blood, a sample for the PSA screening can be taken during donation. However, blood donation is not required, and men can opt to do a simple blood draw for the PSA test alone. MEDIC draws all samples, which are then analyzed by AEL. The lab testing is funded by Provision CARES Foundation.

In 2021, Eddie Check was held at 16 different locations across 11 East Tennessee counties, including Knox, Anderson, Blount, Campbell, Cumberland, Hamblen, Jefferson, McMinn, Roane, Scott, and Sevier. Over the span of two days, nearly 800 men got their free PSA screenings. In addition, MEDIC received almost 600 life-saving blood donations!

History of Eddie Check

Eddie Check is named after Eddie Kirkland, who died of prostate cancerIn 2004, Rockford-based Nisus Corporation, a manufacturer of green products for the pest control and wood preservation industries, teamed up with area hospitals and MEDIC to create Eddie Check, an annual event that adds free PSA screening for prostate cancer to blood drives. It was a simple strategy using MEDIC’s already existing resources to make PSA testing fast, easy, and accessible.

Nisus has a personal stake in the fight against prostate cancer. Marketing Vice President, Jim Gorman, is a prostate cancer survivor, and company President & CEO Kevin L. Kirkland lost his father, Eddie Kirkland, to the disease. In fact, “Eddie Check” is named after Eddie Kirkland.

Since then, Eddie Check has collected more than 13,000 units of blood and provided over 11,000 free PSA tests. We have no doubt this event has saved countless lives over the years!

Eddie Check 2021: Dates, Times, and Locations

Thursday, September 9, 2021

  • MEDIC Knoxville – 1601 Ailor Ave. (7:00am – 6:30pm)
  • MEDIC Farragut – 11000 Kingston Pike (7:30am – 7:00pm)
  • MEDIC Athens – 213 E. Washington Ave. Suite 104 (8:30am – 5:00pm)
  • MEDIC Crossville – 96 Hayes St. (8:30am – 5:00pm CDT)
  • Smoky Mountain Knife Works – 2320 Winfield Dunn Pkwy. (11:00am – 6:00pm)
  • Kingston Community Center – 201 Patton Ferry Rd. (11:00am – 5:00pm)
  • Lowe’s South Knoxville – 7520 Mountain Grove Rd. (10:00am – 6:00pm)
  • Walmart Oneida – 19740 Alberta St. (11:00am – 6:00pm)
  • Food City Dandridge – 123 W Highway 25-70 (11:00am – 6:00pm)
  • Sam’s Club East Knoxville – 2920 Knoxville Center Dr. (11:00am – 7:00pm)

Friday, September 10, 2021

  • MEDIC Knoxville – 1601 Ailor Ave. (7:00am – 6:30pm)
  • MEDIC Farragut – 11000 Kingston Pike (6:30am – 6:00pm)
  • MEDIC Athens – 213 E. Washington Ave. Suite 104 (8:30am – 5:00pm)
  • MEDIC Crossville -96 Hayes St. (8:30am – 5:00pm CDT)
  • Lowe’s Alcoa – 1098 Hunters Crossing Dr. (10:00am – 6:00pm)
  • Books-A-Million Oak Ridge – 310 S. Illinois Ave. (11:00am – 6:00pm)
  • Walmart Morristown – 475 Crockett Trace Dr. (12:00pm – 6:00pm)
  • Walmart Halls – 7550 Norris Fwy. (11:00am – 6:00pm)
  • Walmart Jacksboro – 2824 Appalachian Hwy. (12:00pm – 6:00pm)
  • Walmart Walker Springs – 8445 Walbrook Dr. (11:00am – 7:00pm)

Both Days:

Blood draws only for PSA test for prostate cancer screening are also available at any American Esoteric Laboratories location:

  • AEL Knoxville – 7501 Strawberry Plains Pike (8:00am – 4:30pm)
  • AEL Morristown – 1907 West Morris Blvd. Suite F (8:00am – 12:30pm and 1:30pm – 4:30pm)
  • AEL Wartburg – 1236 Knoxville Hwy. (8:30am – 4:30pm)

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Provision CARES Proton Therapy has locations in Knoxville and Nashville, Tenn. If you or someone you know has prostate cancer, we encourage you to call 1-833-6-PROTON. One of our Cancer Care Experts can speak to you about your specific diagnosis and help determine if proton therapy is right for you.