Free prostate cancer screenings offered at Hannibal Regional Medical Group

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HANNIBAL, Mo. — In honor of Prostate Cancer Awareness month, Hannibal Regional is offering free prostate cancer screenings on from 6 to 7:30 pm Sept. 20 and Sept. 22 at Hannibal Regional Medical Group.  Space is limited and an appointment is required, Call (573) 406-1641.

“Prostate cancer really has no symptoms in its early stages of development,” says Dr. Steven Cockrell, urologist with Hannibal Regional Medical Group. “Most men who have prostate cancer may not even know it, which is why regular screenings are so important.”

The screening will include both a digital rectal examination and a prostate specific antigen blood test.  The two tests together can often detect cancer before it becomes symptomatic, leading to earlier treatments and better outcomes.  The free screenings are provided by medical professionals from Hannibal Regional Medical Group.

Cockrell says some symptoms should raise a red flag for any man.  These symptoms, which could also appear with benign enlargement of the prostate, might be experienced as prostate cancer progresses.  Symptoms include 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.

Screenings are not just for men who might have symptoms of prostate cancer.  Since all men are at risk for prostate cancer, physicians suggest all men over the age of 55 be screened every year for the disease.  It also is recommended that all men at a higher risk for prostate cancer, like African American men and men who have a family history of prostate cancer, be screened annually beginning at age 40.

Screenings are the only way to catch prostate cancer before it becomes dangerous. If you are between the ages of 45-75, a prostate cancer screening may be right for you.  Call (573) 406-1641 to see if you are eligible for a free prostate cancer screening.

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