However, if detected early, prostate cancer can be survivable. To help local men stay protected, the Mason County Health Department in conjunction with Dr. Shirkant Vaidya, urologist, and Pleasant Valley Hospital Laboratory and Outreach Services will conduct a free prostate cancer screening clinic on Thursday, Sept. 9.
The annual clinic is open to men ages 45 and up, and will take place from 4:30-6:30 p.m. at the health department, located at 216 5th St. in Point Pleasant. Vaidya will provide the exams, which include both the PSA blood test and digital rectal exam. Test results along with follow-up recommendations will be mailed to those who take part in the screening.
The health department along with Vaidya encouraged residents to utilize the free screenings as prostate cancer is the most common form of cancer, aside from some types of skin cancer, among men in the United States. In addition, prostate cancer is the second leading cause of a cancer-related death in American men. Men who have a high risk of prostate cancer are those who have a family history of prostate cancer as well as those who are of African American decent. However, prostate cancer is one of the most survivable cancers if detected early.
According to a news release, 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 dramatic change in survival rates is due to both earlier detection and better treatment options. Men who are age 45 or older are encouraged to talk to their physician about prostate exams.
To participate in the clinic, appointments must be made by calling the health department at 304-675-3050.