Screening to be offered Sept. 21

September is Prostate Cancer Awareness Month and Stonewall Jackson Memorial Hospital, in Weston, will provide a special, low cost prostate screening on Sept. 21 for local men.

There is a special low cost of $10 for the PSA blood test and no cost for an examination by urologist Dr. Thomas Benz.

It should be noted that prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men (not counting skin cancer). It is also one of the leading causes of cancer death among men. Many of the risk factors for prostate cancer includes age and race which can’t be controlled. In addition, Benz stated, “Prostate cancer is shown to run in some families, which suggests that there could be an inherited or genetic factor. Therefore, early detection before symptoms occur increases one’s changes of being cureable.”

However, there are some things a man can do that might lower the risk of prostate cancer such as eating healthy, exercising, and maintaining a healthy weight.

Prostate cancer can often be found early using a simple blood test — a PSA (Prostate Specific Antigen). The PSA test measures the protein that is released in the blood by prostate cells. Having a high PSA does not mean one has prostate cancer but it only means the patient needs to be looked at harder for the possibility.

Prostate cancer is rare in men younger than 40, but the chance of having prostate cancer rises rapidly after age 50. About 6 in 10 prostate cancers are found in men older than 65.

Having a father or brother diagnosed with prostate cancer under the age of 65 more than doubles a man’s risk of developing this disease.

The risk is higher for men who have a brother with the disease than for those who have a father with it. The risk is much higher for men with several affected relatives, particularly if their relatives were young when the cancer was found.

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