Prostate cancer occurs in a man’s prostate — a small, walnut-shaped gland that produces the seminal fluid that nourishes and transports sperm. It is one of the most common types of cancer in men and usually grows slowly and initially remains confined to the prostate gland, where it may not cause serious harm. Other forms of prostate cancer are aggressive and can spread quickly, once outside the gland, it can be difficult to treat and deadly.
Who should be screened for prostate cancer?
Free screening appointments are now being accepted and will be provided on a first-come, first-served basis. Pre-registration is recommended and will help speed up the screening process. Forms can be downloaded off the hospital’s Web site at EffinghamHealth.org or can be picked up at any one of the Effingham Family Medicine offices or the reception desk at the Physician’s Center. Call 754-0483 for more details and to schedule your appointment.
Effingham Physicians Center Effingham Hospital and Care Center in partnership with Effingham Family Medicine, will host a new on-going series of health screening and education programs aimed at helping men living in Effingham County and its surrounding communities reduce their risk of prostate and other forms of cancers, heart disease, diabetes and more.
The focus of the first in the men’s health series is prostate cancer, a disease that is estimated to see over 215,000 new cases in 2010 and result in the death of over 30,000 men nationwide.
Men who are eligible for an annual prostate screening (typically men who are 50 years and over as well as those with a family history and experiencing no symptoms or previous diagnosis of prostate cancer), can receive a Prostate-Specific Antigen or (PSA) test most commonly used to find elevated levels of the protein in the blood. In addition to the simple PSA blood test, the screening also includes an exam that will help rule out abnormalities in size and shape of the prostate gland itself. The screening will be held Nov. 11 from 4-7 p.m. at the Effingham Hospital visiting specialist center, located adjacent to the hospital.
Members of the Effingham team of health providers will be on hand to answer questions and provide helpful information about how to recognize symptoms and methods of treatment when prostate cancer is detected.
In an effort to help men in the community feel more at ease about the screening as well as congratulate those who put apprehension aside to get tested, there will be plenty of good food and entertainment on hand to enjoy while you wait. Men who wish to participate are encouraged to make an appointment in order take advantage of the free screening by calling 754-0483.
Although screening for prostate cancer is simple, for many men the conversation about being tested is a difficult one to have. Harry Shearouse, chairman of the board at Citizens Bank of Effingham, is an eight-year survivor of prostate cancer. To help health care providers in Effingham County spread the word that prostate cancer, when detected early and still confined in the prostate gland, has a better chance of successful treatment, Shearouse has agreed to be the official spokesperson for the first Guys Night Out: Prostate Cancer Screening Program.
“As a survivor, I feel it’s important for me to stress the importance of men being screened for prostate cancer as recommended by their physician. I am living proof that early detection does save lives and that the simple tests to rule out this all too often deadly disease are typically avoided and misunderstood,” he said.
“I want to help change some minds about getting screened and hopefully, help men in our community be more aware and proactive about their own health.”