Free prostate screenings available to Pike County men

Published 11:00 pm Thursday, March 22, 2012

The Urology Centers of Alabama will once again be conducting free prostate cancer screenings in Pike County. The screenings will be from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. on Saturday, March 31, at the Pike County Health Department.

“The prostate screenings take about 10 minutes and that’s 10 minutes that could save your life,” said Dr. Tom Moody, Urology Centers of Alabama in Birmingham. “All men ages 40 and over should have an annual prostate screening. Just because you had a prostate screening last year doesn’t mean that you don’t need to be screened this year.”

Moody said the screening is a simple procedure that includes a blood test and a digital rectal exam.

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“All we need to conduct the screening is a name and reliable address where we can send the results,” he said. “If an abnormality is found, we will follow-up with a phone call and strongly recommend seeing a physician of choice if that has not already been done. In cases where there is no insurance, and regardless of ability to pay, Urology Centers of Alabama will make arrangements for those with abnormalities.”

Moody said there are no early symptoms of prostate cancer so early detection is the key. “Last year 700 men in Alabama died from prostate cancer and most of those deaths could have been prevented by early detection. Prostate cancer is the most prevalent cancer in men after skin cancer and is the second leading cause of death. The death rate from prostate cancer in Alabama is the third highest in the nation. That’s an indication that not enough men are getting checked.”

For that reason, Moody said, Urology Centers of Alabama is offering the opportunity for free prostate screenings in rural Alabama and to undeserved populations.

Moody said too often men failed to get screened because of the rectal exam.

“When they do come, they found out that there’s really nothing to it,” he said. “It’s not nearly as invasive and uncomfortable as what women go through.”