POTTSTOWN PA – Free prostate screenings to help in the early detection of prostate cancer will be offered on three dates this fall – Sept. 19 (2011; Monday), Sept. 20 (Tuesday), and Sept. 22 (Thursday) – by Pottstown Memorial Medical Center (PMMC) at the hospital, 1600 E. High St., Pottstown PA.
Advance registration is required due to a limited number of appointments available, and blood work for the test must be drawn between Aug. 15 and Aug. 31 at a participating PMMC laboratory. For more information or to register, call (610) 327-7092.
One in six men will develop prostate cancer, which is the second leading cause of cancer-related deaths in American men. Early stages of prostate cancer may not cause any symptoms, so yearly medical checkups are important, the hospital said Monday (July 11) in announcing its offer.
Age is the biggest risk factor of prostate cancer, with the likelihood of diagnosis greatly increasing after age 50; however, some men are at a higher risk. African Americans are diagnosed 60 percent more than white American men, and should begin screening as early as age 35. A man’s chance of diagnosis doubles if he has a father or brother with prostate cancer, so men with a family history of the disease should also begin early screening, the hospital said.
Healthy diets and exercise also can lower risk for the disease. Foods such as tomatoes, watermelon and pink grapefruit are especially beneficial because they contain lycopenes, which are antioxidants, and have been linked to prostate cancer prevention.
All men over the age of 40, and those who are 35 and identified as high risk, are strongly encouraged to register, the hospital added. PMMC’s free prostate screening consists of two parts: a Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA) blood test and a Digital Rectal Exam (DRE) performed by a trained physician.