Free prostate screenings offered

Free prostate screenings offered

POSTED: Wednesday, June 29, 2011 - 3:19pm

UPDATED: Wednesday, June 29, 2011 - 3:21pm

Good Shepherd Medical Center will be offering free prostate screening on June 30, 2011.

Schedule your appointment by calling Healthy Hotline at (903) 315-GSHS (4747) or toll free at (888) 784-GSHS (4747).

Understanding Prostate Cancer: Early Detection & Screening

Prostate cancer is cancer that starts in the prostate gland, and it affects one in six men in America. The prostate is a small, walnut-sized structure that makes up part of a man's reproductive system. It wraps around the urethra, the tube that carries urine out of the body. Prostate cancer is the third most common cause of death from cancer in men of all ages and is the most common cause of death from cancer in men over age 75.

Early detection is the key to beating prostate cancer, and a simple PSA blood test can be performed to screen men for prostate cancer. Because of PSA testing, most prostate cancers are now found before they cause any symptoms.

Should I Be Screened?
The question of screening is a personal and complex one, and it is important for each man to talk with his doctor about whether prostate cancer screening is right for him.

When to start screening is generally based on individual risk, with age 45 being a reasonable time to start screening for those at highest risk. In general, all men should create a proactive prostate health plan that is right for them based on their lifestyle and family history.

Risk Factors
There are several major factors that influence risk, and some of them unfortunately cannot be changed.
• Age: The older you are, the more likely you are to be diagnosed with prostate cancer. Although only one in 10,000 men under age 40 will be diagnosed, the rate shoots up to one in 38 for ages 40 to 59, and one in 15 for ages 60 to 69. The average age at diagnosis of prostate cancer in the United States is 69 years. After that age, the chance of developing prostate cancer becomes more common than any other cancer in men or women.
• Race: African American men are 60 percent more likely to develop prostate cancer compared with Caucasian men and are nearly two-and-a-half times as likely to die from the disease.
• Family history/genetics: A man with a father or brother who developed prostate cancer is twice as likely to develop the disease. This risk is further increased if the cancer was diagnosed in family members at a younger age (less than 55 years of age) or if it affected three or more family members. In addition, some genes increase mutational rates while others may predispose a man to infection or viral infections that can lead to prostate cancer.

Screening and Biopsy
A prostate cancer screening may reveal results that prompt a doctor to recommend a biopsy. There are many other supplementary tests and considerations that can help a man who is undergoing screening decide if a biopsy is necessary, including:
• Lower vs. higher free PSA test
• PSA velocity (rate of rise over time)
• PSA density (PSA per volume of prostate)
• Family history
• Ethnicity
• Prior biopsy findings
• Digital rectal exam results
• Different forms of PSA (i.e. bPSA, pro-PSA)

Discuss these individual tests with your doctor to make screening decisions that are best for you.

From: Good Shepherd Medical Center

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