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Prostate Cancer Screening Offered to Public

Aug. 30, 2008 — Prostate cancer screening will be advailable Sept. 27 at the Charlotte Kimelman Cancer Institute (CKCI) on St. Thomas from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. The cost is $25.
"If individuals are unable to afford the charge, we’re working with American Cancer Society to find a way to help them," said CKCI Cancer Registrar, Colin O'Connell, who is organizing the event.
This is the third year the institute has opened its doors in hopes men will get tested, and with good reason. Prevalence of prostate cancer among black men, compared to men of European descent, is high.
"Up to three times higher, and the mortality is twice as high," said O'Connell. "No one knows scientifically why this is true, but it’s a fact."
Men aged 45 and older are advised to receive annual screenings; after age 40 if there's a history in the family.
"If you have a father, brother, grandfather — any male blood relative — who had prostate caner, the odds are you have a pretty good chance of getting the disease," O'Connell said.
The screening involves a blood test which looks for a very specific protein, which at elevated levels correlates with prostate cancer. In addition, men will be encouraged to have a digital rectal exam (DRE). Combining the two, according to O'Connell, is the most comprehensive approach.
Using a DRE, doctors can tell immediately if the prostate is enlarged, with could be a sign of cancer. Results from the blood test will be mailed approximately one week following the screening. If any blood test suggests concern, the results will not be mailed, but the individual will be called and asked to come in for counseling, according to O'Connell.
The Kimelman Institute is hoping make the screening territory-wide, but plans are not yet confirmed on St. John and St. Croix.
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