North Jefferson News, Gardendale, AL

Health

February 4, 2009

Doctor initiates statewide reform for cancer screening

By Melanie Patterson

The North Jefferson News




Dr. Thomas E. Moody is far more than your everyday doctor. A urologist, Moody has lobbied successfully for new state laws regarding prostate cancer screenings and he helped host six free screenings in 2008.

All of that is outside of his private practice, which has a booming schedule of its own.

Moody has practiced urology for more than 30 years. For three years, he has seen patients every Monday and Wednesday at the Gardendale Medical Clinic.

Moody said he has found his work in north Jefferson County to be “very gratifying. ... I think patients have liked receiving specialty care without going to Birmingham.”

Urology is a surgical sub-specialty that deals with the male reproductive system and the male and female urinary systems.

As one of 16 doctors who make up Urology Centers of Alabama, P.C., which is the largest urology practice in Alabama, Moody finds it important to remain “non-judgmental” with his patients, particularly when they are dealing with impotence or incontinence.

Moody described the two conditions as “the most embarrassing to people.” Incontinence is particularly devastating, he said, because it can keep people confined to their homes.

While those conditions are devastating, prostate cancer is deadly. That is why Moody works so hard to convince men to receive screening for the cancer.

Last year, Moody held free screenings in Perry, Wilcox, Hale, Marengo, Madison and Jefferson counties. Helping him were Urology Centers of Alabama director of health education and information Sherry T. Wilson and others.

Four of the screenings were funded by a $50,000 Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs (ADECA) grant.

State and local health departments worked with Moody and Wilson and got the word out for each screening. As a result, more than 500 men received screening for prostate cancer.

It was the first time many of the men in the poor, rural counties had received such screenings.

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