HANNIBAL, Mo. — In honor of Prostate Cancer Awareness month, Hannibal Regional Medical Group is offering free prostate cancer screenings from 5:30-7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 20.
The American Cancer Society says prostate cancer is the second most common cancer in American men. The chance of getting prostate cancer goes up as a man gets older. Most prostate cancers are found in men over the age of 55.
“Prostate cancer is one of a few tumors for which we have a safe and effective way of early detection through PSA blood test and prostate exam,” Dr. Viacheslav Iremashvili, urologist at Hannibal Regional Medical Group, said in a press release. “The screening allows us to find prostate cancers early on when they are still curable and therefore able to save lives.”
Screenings are the only way to catch prostate cancer before it becomes dangerous. Screenings are not just for men who might have symptoms of prostate cancer. Iremashvili suggests all men over the age of 55 should be screened every year for the disease.
Prostate cancer develops more often in African American men and Caribbean men of African ancestry than those of other races, and those men should be screened annually beginning at age 40. Having one or more close relatives with prostate cancer also increases a man’s risk of having prostate cancer. They should be screened annually beginning at age 40.
Prostate cancer has no symptoms in its early stages of development. Most men who have prostate cancer may not even know it, which is why regular screenings are important. The screening includes a digital rectal examination and a prostate specific antigen blood test. The two tests together can often detect cancer before it becomes symptomatic.
Some symptoms should raise a red flag. These symptoms could also appear with benign enlargement of the prostate, but they might be experienced as prostate cancer progresses. Symptoms could be:
- difficulty starting urination
- a need to urinate frequently (especially at night)
- inability to urinate
- weak or interrupted flow of urine (dribbling)
- painful or burning urination
- painful ejaculation
- blood in urine or semen and
- frequent pain or stiffness in the back, hips or upper thighs.
An appointment or the screening is required. Make your appointment by calling Hannibal Regional Medical Group at 573-406-1641.
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