In conjunction with National Prostate Cancer Awareness Week, Southern Ohio Medical Center will offer free prostate cancer screenings by appointment Sept. 16, 18, 22, 23 and 24 at a location to be announced.
“Prostate cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death in men,” Christopher Schmidt, DO, a urologist on staff at SOMC, said. “There is often no way to detect prostate cancer in its early stages without a screening by a medical professional, and we’re glad to be able to help with this early detection effort.”
Dr. Schmidt and other SOMC physicians including Drs. Amory Novoselac, Justin Greenlee, John Oehler, Li-fen Chang and Ebenezer Kio will be providing the screenings. Space is limited and reservations are necessary. For an appointment call the SOMC Volunteer Office, (740) 356-8234 between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. weekdays.
“Yearly prostate screenings are recommended for all men more than 50 years old,” Dr. Schmidt said. “However, African-American men and men with a family history of prostate cancer are considered higher risk and should have an exam yearly beginning at age 45.”
The prostate is a walnut-size gland sitting below the bladder that assists in production and delivery of fluids in semen during sexual activity. As men age, the gland can enlarge. A digital-rectal examination by a physician can help determine if the gland has irregularities in shape, size or texture, which could indicate cancer. A blood test, known as a prostate-specific antigen or PSA test, is also used to help determine if cancer is present.
“Even if you can’t make an appointment at one of these times, I urge you to talk to your family physician about your risks and have an annual screening,” Dr. Schmidt said. “Early detection of cancer is critical to successful outcomes, and screening regularly gives the best chance of that early detection, long before symptoms may arise.”