Prostate cancer screening offered

by | September 27, 2006 12:00 am

Emanuel Medical Center is offering a prostate cancer screening on Thursday, Sept. 28 from 4-6 p.m. The screening will consist of a Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA) blood test. This test checks the level of a protein secreted from the prostate. The PSA level may be higher if the prostate is enlarge, if there is a prostate infection, or if cancer is present. There is a $10 fee for the PSA blood test and appointments are not required. Results will be sent to the patient and his family physician.

September is National Prostate Cancer Awareness Month. Prostate

cancer is the abnormal growth of cells in a man’s prostate gland, which sits just below the bladder. The disease is very common, mostly among men who are older than 65. Prostate cancer can be cured if it is detected and treated early.

Risk factors for prostate cancer include:

 Age. The risk increases as you get older.

 Race or ethnic group. African-Americans are more likely to have prostate cancer than other groups.

 Family history

 Diet. A high-fat diet may increase the risk.

When the disease is detected early, while it is

still confined to the prostate gland, it can generally be treated successfully. Therefore, the American Cancer Society recommends the following screening guidelines.

 Men 50 and older should have annual digital rectal exams.

 Men 50 and older should have annual prostate specific antigen (PSA) blood tests.

 Men with a family history of prostate cancer should begin having annual digital rectal exams and PSA tests at age 40.

Prostate cancer generally produces no symptoms in the early stages. So without regular screenings, cases often go undetected until they have spread beyond the prostate. When symptoms do occur, they include:

 dull pain in the lower pelvic area

 urgency of urination, difficulty starting urination or pain during urination

 weak or intermittent urine flow and dribbling

 a sensation that the bladder isn’t empty

 frequent urination at night  blood in the urine

 painful ejaculation

 general pain in the lower back, hips or upper thighs

 loss of appetite and weight  persistent bone pain For more information,

contact Beth Hudson, director community relations, at 289-1356.

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