Topeka (WIBW) - The American Cancer Society says one in six men can expect to get prostate cancer in his lifetime. It's the second most common cancer in men, behind only skin cancer.
The prostate is a small gland men have under the bladder. Dr. Mark Bransted, a urologist at Topeka's Cotton-O'Neil Clinic, says cancer in the prostate can surface in two ways. Cell changes may be detected through a PSA blood test or hard spots and masses might be felt with a digital rectal exam. Since a patient might present with one and not the other - for example, the antigent levels aren't high, but a mass is felt - both elements are necessary for screening.
All men over age 50 should have a prostate screening done every year, start at age 40 if you have a family history or are African American. Dr. Bransted says some prostate cancers can be aggressive, so it's important to be monitored for changes from year to year.
To ensure all men get the screenings, the Cotton O'Neil Cancer Center and local urologists, for the 19th year, will offer a day of free prostate screenings. In 2009's event, 446 men were checked., 77 had abnormalities that needed follow up and, of those, five were cancers.
The good news, Bransted says, is that if prostate cancer is found early it is highly cureable.
This year's free screenings are from 8 am to noon, Saturday, September 18th at the Cotton-O'Neil Cancer Center. You must call HealthConnections to make your appointment, 785-354-5225.