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University of Cincinnati Academic Health Center
Publish Date: 09/01/05
Media Contact: AHC Public Relations, (513) 558-4553
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UC Cancer Center Provides Free Prostate Cancer Test to 400 Men

Radiation oncologists at the UC Cancer Center have performed free prostate tests on more than 400 men as part of UCís mobile prostate cancer screening program.

Five percent of those screened, using the prostate-specific antigen (PSA) blood test, were diagnosed with prostate cancer and enrolled in appropriate treatment regimens.

PSA is a substance released into the bloodstream from the male prostate gland. While low levels of the substance may be found in healthy men, elevated levels often indicate prostate cancer. When detected in an early stage, prostate cancer is one of the most curable types of the disease. 

Led by William Barrett, MD, UC Cancer Centerís mobile screening program aims to raise awareness of prostate cancer among men living in traditionally low-income, urban neighborhoods who may not have access to regular health care. The program began two years ago.

ďBy taking our services directly to the community, we are able to diagnose prostate cancer earlier and connect people to the comprehensive care that is critical to a full recovery,Ē said Dr. Barrett, director of the Division of Radiation Oncology at UC.

According to the American Cancer Society, prostate cancer will result in more than 30,000 deaths in the United States in 2005, making it the second leading cause of cancer-related mortality among men.

Known prostate cancer risk factors include family genetics, race and age. Studies also suggest that diets high in saturated fat may also increase risk for the disease.

ďAfrican-American men over age 45 with a family history of prostate cancer are most at risk,Ē said Dr. Barrett. ďThe same population is twice as likely to be diagnosed with the disease as white men.Ē

Physicians suggest that all men begin annual PSA blood tests between the ages of 45 and 50.

Early-stage prostate cancer has no symptoms. Advanced-stage cancer patients experience urinary complications, including difficulty emptying and controlling the bladder, and bone pain.

Prostate cancer is generally treated by surgical removal of the tumor, external radiation therapy or brachytherapy, an outpatient procedure in which time-released radiation seeds are implanted into the prostate. Cancer growth can also be slowed by hormone therapy, which shrinks the tumors.

Free prostate screenings are available every Saturday from noon to 2 p.m. at Jordanís Crossing, 7030 Reading Rd., Bond Hill. For more information, call 513-584-8216.

The program is sponsored by American Financial Group, Western-Southern Life and the American Cancer Society.

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