LAFAYETTE, La. (KLFY) — This week a group of doctors is traveling across the country to provide free health screenings and educate people about cardiovascular disease and prostate cancer. One of those doctors is from Lafayette and plans to do the same for the Acadiana community.

Dr. Antoine Keller, a heart surgeon and co-founder of HeartSense said cardiovascular disease is all too common amongst communities. In most cases the patient has no idea.

“One of the things that we realized during COVID is that people do not realize they have cardiovascular disease,” Dr. Keller explained.

Heart screening studies show that one in every 10 people has unknown heart disease. Results are also impacted by the patients’ environment as well as getting regular check-ups. Dr. Keller said that’s, “twice as many people that have heart diseases than we expected by looking at studies.”

According to Dr. Keller, the most common red flags are an irregular heartbeat and blockages in the heart valve. “These are things that people put off to stress or eating bad but it could lead to stress.”

Keller said some cases are out of your control, such as your age, sex, and parents. However, there are factors you can control. For example, smoking.

“If you smoke, you should focus on trying to quit. People say, ‘Well I will just cut back,’ Cutting back won’t work,” Keller said. “You’re still at risk of cardiovascular disease.”

Dr. Keller and the HeartSense organization is hosting a Heart Health Expo. Free heart screenings, a discussion panel, and more will be available at the event.

The event will take place on June 25th from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Progressive Community Outreach Center in Lafayette.