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Free prostate cancer screenings offered at IU Simon Cancer Center, other IU Health locations

INDIANAPOLIS -- (September 09, 2011) -- September is Prostate Cancer Awareness Month, so this is a perfect time for men to take advantage of free prostate-cancer screenings offered by Indiana University Health and the American Cancer Society.

Consider these facts from the American Cancer Society:

  • In 2011, about 240,890 new cases of prostate cancer will be diagnosed. About 33,720 men will die of prostate cancer. It is the second leading cause of cancer death in men, behind only lung cancer. 

  • The good news is that prostate cancer is nearly 100 percent survivable if detected early. More than two million men in the United States who were diagnosed with prostate cancer at some point are alive today.

Such statistics send a strong message to men on the importance of early detection of this potentially deadly disease.

Three free screenings will be offered at IU Health locations this month: 

  • 4 to 7 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 14 in the Urology Clinic, room 310 at the IU Simon Cancer Center. Use the 535 Barnhill Drive entrance (corner of Michigan Street and Barnhill Drive). Call (317) 948-2081 for an appointment.

  • 5:30 to 7 p.m. Monday, Sept. 19 at IU Health Methodist Hospital in the Radiation Therapy Department on the ground floor near the Methodist ER department. Participants should park in Parking Garage No. 1. Call (317) 916-3525 for an appointment.

  • 5 to 7 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 21 at IU Health West Hospital. Exams will take place in the cancer center. Call (317) 217-3627 for an appointment.

Men with no symptoms should consider testing beginning at age 50. Men at higher risk, including African American men and those with a first-degree relative diagnosed with prostate cancer before age 65, should consider it beginning at age 45. For men at appreciably higher-risk (multiple family members diagnosed before age 65), the beginning age is 40.

Men will have a small amount of blood drawn for the PSA (prostate specific antigen) test, which can detect prostate cancer in its early stages. They will also receive a digital rectal exam (DRE) by urologists who volunteer their time. A PSA test combined with a DRE offers the most effective screening for prostate cancer. The screening should take less than 30 minutes for each participant.