Free prostate screenings offered

Published 3:00 am Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Once again, the Urology Health Foundation and the Pike County Health Department will hold a free prostate cancer screening for men 40 years of age and older. The screenings will be conducted from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. Saturday at the Pike County Health Department in Troy.

All men within the specified age range are encouraged to take advantage of this free prostate cancer screening opportunity.

“Most men will do anything to avoid going to the doctor,” said Dr. Thomas Moody, president of the Urology Health Foundation in Birmingham. “They believe that illnesses such as cancer happen to someone else. However, the reality is far from that.”

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Moody said, behind lung cancer, prostate cancer is the second leading cause of death among men in the United States.

“Early detection and treatment are key factors in addressing prostate cancer,” he said. “No one knows the exact cause of prostate cancer. Doctor can seldom explain why one man develops the disease and another doesn’t. One in six men will get prostate cancer sometime in his life.”

Moody said age and race are the strongest risk factors for prostate cancer.

“African Americans men are at special risk for the disease and have the highest rate of prostate cancer in the world,” he said. “One in four African American men will get prostate cancer and are 2.5 times more likely to die from the disease.”

A man’s risk of prostate cancer is higher than the average if his father, brother or uncle had the disease.

“Those are the reasons that the men of Pike County are urged and encouraged to take advantage of the free prostate cancer screenings at the Pike County Health Department on Saturday,” Moody said. “There are no noticeable symptoms of prostate cancer while it’s still in the early stages. That’s why screening is so critical and why every man over 40 should be screened annually.”

Screening for prostate cancer involves a simple PSA blood test that measures the level of protein in the blood. Normally, PSA is found in the blood at very low levels. Elevated PSA readings can be a sign of prostate cancer.

A physical examination is also given to detect prostate cancer.

The tests take about 10 minutes. “Those 10 minutes could save your life,” Moody said.

Troy Regional Medical Center will also participate in Saturday’s event with free glucose and cholesterol checks. A representative from the TRMC Sleep Lab will be available to answer questions.