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Free Prostate Screenings Set for Sept. 18 and 20 at Downtown Health Plaza

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. – Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center is sponsoring free screenings for prostate cancer on Thursday, Sept. 18 and Saturday, Sept. 20, 2009 at Downtown Health Plaza of Baptist Hospital, 1200 Martin Luther King Jr. Drive.

The screenings will include a blood test for prostate cancer known as the prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test and a digital rectal exam to detect prostate abnormalities. Screening is recommended for men over age 50 who haven’t had a prostate exam in the last year and men over 40 who are black or have a family history of prostate cancer.

The Sept. 18 screening, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., is by appointment only – call 336-716-2255. The Sept. 20 screening, from 7 a.m. to 9 a.m., will be conducted on a walk-in basis.

“With early detection, nine out of 10 men can beat prostate cancer,” said Karim Kader, M.D., a Wake Forest Baptist urologist who is directing the screening.

According to the National Cancer Institute, symptoms of advanced prostate cancer can be similar to enlarged prostate and can include difficulty urinating, frequent urination, weak flow of urine, urine flow that starts and stops, pain or burning during urination, blood in the urine or semen and difficulty having an erection. In early cases of the disease, however, there are generally no symptoms.

"The screening tests are important because they can detect the disease before symptoms develop," said Kader, an assistant professor of urology. He said about 90 percent of all prostate cancers are currently diagnosed at an early stage and men are surviving longer after diagnosis.

According to the American Urological Association, prostate cancer is the third-leading cause of cancer deaths among men in the United Sates. It affects about 234,000 American men each year with approximately 27,000 of them dying each year.

The screenings will be conducted by physicians in the Department of Urology.

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Media Relations Contacts: Karen Richardson, krchrdsn@wfubmc.edu, Bonnie Davis, bdavis@wfubmc.edu or Shannon Koontz, shkoontz@wfubmc.edu, at 336-716-4587.

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