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ADPH hosting free prostate cancer screening in county

One in every six men will get prostate cancer sometime in his life. The death rate from prostate cancer for African-American men in Alabama is higher than in any other state. Late-stage identification is a factor in many of these deaths. In Alabama, 501 men died from prostate cancer in 2006, a rate of 10.9 deaths per 100,000 men.

In order to combat this alarming statistic, the Alabama Department of Public Health will sponsor a free prostate cancer screening in Marengo County on Nov. 1.

Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men, with the exception of skin cancer, and is the second-leading cause of cancer, and 30,000 will die from the disease this year. African-American men are much more likely than white men to get prostate cancer and are more than twice as likely to die of the disease.

“More men need to take advantage of the screening methods that can find this cancer early, when treatment outcomes are more favorable,” State Health Officer Dr. Donald E. Williamson said. “Men should talk to their doctors about screening beginning at age 50, age 40 for African-Americans, or if there is a strong family history of the disease.”

Dr. Thomas Moody, president of Urology Centers of Alabama added, “There are no noticeable symptoms of prostate cancer while it is still in its early stages so screening is very important. We are working with interested community leaders and will hold free screening events in several county health departments in the Black Belt this fall.”

The screening involves a physical examination and a simple blood test called PSA that measures the level of protein called prostate-specific antigen in the blood and will take approximately 10 minutes.

Screenings will be held Nov. 1 at the county health department in Linden from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.