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MeritCare to Host Free Prostate Cancer Screening Event

MeritCare Roger Maris Cancer Center will hold a free prostate cancer screening event in honor of National Prostate Cancer Awareness Month.

MeritCare Roger Maris Cancer Center will hold a free prostate cancer screening event in honor of National Prostate Cancer Awareness Month. Prostate is the most common cancer in American men, affecting one in six. If caught early, nearly 100 percent survive. Those with early-stage cancer rarely have symptoms, so screening is very important.

The screening includes two parts completed on two different days: PSA blood tests will be done on Tuesday, Sept. 22, and exams by a MeritCare urologist will be done on Tuesday, Sept. 29. The event will be held at MeritCare Roger Maris Cancer Center, 820 Fourth St. N., Fargo.

The screening is only open to men who have never had a PSA test and are in one of the following categories:

  • 40 year of age and older who have a family history of prostate cancer.

  • 40 years of age and older who are African-American.

  • 50–75 years of age without a previous history of prostate cancer or an elevated PSA level.

Appointments are required, there are a limited number available. No walk-ins please. Please register by Friday, Sept. 11. Appointments can be made by calling MeritCare at (701) 234-5570 or toll free at (877) 234-4240.

U.S. News & World Report ranked MeritCare as one of the best places in the nation to receive urologic care. MeritCare offers the latest treatments available for prostate cancer including a minimally invasive procedure known as brachytherapy.

Risk factors (the following information is from the National Prostate Cancer Coalition's Web site, fightprostatecancer.org):

  • Risk of prostate cancer increases with age. Prostate cancer is rare for men under the age of 40, and most cases occur in men over the age of 65.

  • Men with a father or brother with prostate cancer are two times as likely to get the disease. Men with three relatives diagnosed with prostate cancer are almost guaranteed to get it.

  • African American men have a 60 percent higher risk of getting prostate cancer than white men, and two times the risk of dying from it. Hispanic men have a risk of getting prostate cancer similar to the general population, but rates of death due to the disease have not declined over recent years as they have for Caucasian and African American men.

  • Veterans of Asian Theaters (Vietnam and Korea) who were exposed to Agent Orange are at increased risk.

  • Obese men those with a body mass index of over 32.5 are 33 percent more likely to die from prostate cancer if diagnosed.

Statistics

  • Prostate cancer is diagnosed every 2.25 minutes; over 186,320 new cases are expected in 2008.

  • An estimated 28,660 American men will lose their lives to prostate cancer in 2008.

  • Prostate cancer takes 1 life every 18 minutes.

  • 1 in 6 American men is at lifetime risk of prostate cancer.