LETTER: Resident urges men to get free screening

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By The Staff

An unprecedented eleven consecutive days of free prostate cancer screenings will be offered in the South Wing Health Horizons during the Kentucky State Fair between 10:30 a.m. and 6:30 p.m.  

The Kentucky Prostate Cancer Coalition screening guideline urges men ages 40 and over to be screened annually for prostate cancer, and men ages 35 and over in high risk groups (family history of prostate cancer, unknown prostate cancer family history, African-American) to be screened annually.  The screening includes a simple blood test and a physical exam.  Metropolitan Urology will perform the DRE’s and University of Louisville Healthcare Phlebotomists will draw the blood.

The first year that a man is screened, his PSA blood test result is considered his “baseline PSA”, and it is compared to men in his age group to determine if it is normal or abnormal.  Subsequently, a man compares his current PSA number to his previous year’s number.  According to the National Alliance of State Prostate Cancer Coalitions, if a man’s PSA number increases .75 percent or more in one year, it is considered abnormal.  If the physical exam detects an abnormality or the PSA result is abnormal, the man should seek medical care for further diagnostic testing.  It is critical to have both, the PSA test and DRE, performed annually, as one may be normal and the other abnormal, leading to inconclusive screening if one test is omitted.

More than 186,000 U.S. men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer this year, and nearly 29,000 will die from the disease, according to the National Cancer Institute.  Prostate cancer is the second leading cause of death among men.

If detected and treated early, the survival rate for prostate cancer is nearly 100 percent. More than 2 million men in the United States who have had prostate cancer at some point are still alive today.   A ten minute test may save your life.  NOW is the time!

Evy McKemie,

Treasurer of National Alliance of State Prostate Cancer Coalitions                                                                                    and resident of Taylorsville