Free prostate cancer screenings offered at James E. Cary Cancer Center

HANNIBAL — Free prostate cancer screenings will be available from 6-7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 24 and Thursday, Sept. 26 at the James E. Cary Cancer Center in Hannibal.

Space is limited and an appointment is required. To schedule your appointment, call 573-406-1641.

“Prostate cancer really has no symptoms in its early stages of development,” Hannibal Regional Medical Group urologist Dr. Steven Cockrell said. “Most men who have prostate cancer may not even know it, which is why regular screenings are so important.”

The screening will include both a digital rectal examination and a prostate specific antigen (PSA) blood test. The two tests together can often detect cancer before it becomes symptomatic, leading to earlier treatments and better outcomes. The free screenings are provided by medical professionals from James E. Cary Cancer Center, Hannibal Regional Medical Group and Hannibal Clinic.

Cockrell said there are some symptoms which should raise a red flag for any man. These symptoms, which may also appear with benign enlargement of the prostate, may be experienced as prostate cancer progresses. Symptoms include: difficulty starting urination; a need to urinate frequently, especially at night; inability to urinate; weak or interrupted flow of urine (dribbling); painful or burning urination; painful ejaculation; blood in urine or semen; and frequent pain or stiffness in the back, hips, or upper thighs.

Screenings are not just for men who may have symptoms of prostate cancer. Since all men are at risk for prostate cancer, physicians suggest all men over the age of 55 be screened every year for the disease. It is also recommended that all men who are at a higher risk for prostate cancer, like African American men and men who have a family history of prostate cancer, be screened annually beginning at age 40.

Screenings are the only way to catch prostate cancer before it becomes dangerous to you or your loved one. If you are between the ages of 45 and 75, a prostate cancer screening may be right for you. More information about eligibility for a free prostate cancer screening is available by calling 573-406-1641.

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