Due to prostate cancer being such a common disease, the Mason County Health Department is urging residents to take the proper precautions in both preventing and detecting prostate cancer. To do so, the health department will host a free prostate cancer screening clinic on Thursday, Sept. 9.
The clinic will take place at the health department, located at 216 5th St. in Point Pleasant, from 4:30-6:30 p.m., and is open to men ages 45 and up. To participate in the clinic, an appointment must be made in advance by calling the health department at 304-675-3050. Exams will be provided by Dr. Shirkant Vaidya, urologist, and the Pleasant Valley Hospital Laboratory and Outreach Services staff.
The free screenings will include a digital rectal exam and a PSA blood test. Test results along with any follow-up recommendations will be mailed to patients who participate in the clinic. The clinic coincides with “Prostate Cancer Awareness Month,” which is celebrated each September. The health department urges all men to get tested for prostate cancer.
According to the American Cancer Society, while prostate cancer is very common, it continues to be one of the most survivable cancers when detected early. In 2003, 97 percent of those diagnosed survived at least five years, 79 percent reached 10 years survival and 60 percent achieved more than 15 years of survival. The American Cancer Society attributes the survival rate to the methods that enable early detection, such as the PSA blood test.
The health department encourages the following groups to contact their physician about a prostate exam:
• Any man age 45 or older.
• Those with a family history of prostate cancer.
• Those who are of African-American descent.
For more information on the upcoming prostate clinic, call the health department at 304-675-3050.