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Prostate cancer screening appointments available

Men: Part of your commission is to see to your good health and well being so you are able to continue to take care of the people in your life who depend on you, and to enjoy the many moments of memory-making and pleasure in your life.

The cancer clinic at the Columbiana County Health Department will hold a prostate cancer screening on Monday, October 28. The cancer clinic is supported by a Columbiana County Health District Cancer Detection Clinic property tax levy (0.2 mill), which costs $4.55 each year on a $100,000 home. The prostate cancer screening is free for residents of the health district because of the tax levy.

The screening is a simple blood draw. Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Institute explains that the prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test measures the level of a protein made by cells in the prostate gland in a man’s blood. PSA levels rise when there’s a problem with the prostate. It’s normal to have a low level of PSA. Having prostate cancer can increase it, which is why we recommend that men follow the prostate cancer screening guidelines.

“It’s free, takes less than 6 minutes and it’s right here in Lisbon” said Wesley Vins, Health Commissioner.

The American Cancer Society recommends an annual PSA screening for men over age 50. Because African-American men have a higher risk of prostate cancer, it is recommended they begin having the screenings at age 45. Men who have a family history for prostate cancer also should begin the screenings at age 45.

According to the National Cancer Institute (www.cancer.gov), prostate cancer is the most common non-skin cancer. It also is the second leading cause of cancer death in the U.S. Finding cancer earlier makes it easier to treat with fewer side effects, Vins advises. Early diagnosis can help catch the cancer before it becomes life-threatening or causes serious symptoms.

Risk factors for prostate cancer include:

— Age.

— Father, brother, or son had prostate cancer.

— Race.

— Hormones.

— Vitamin E taken by itself.

— Folic acid taken by itself.

— Diet high in dairy and calcium.

Different people have different symptoms; sometimes there are no symptoms at all. For more information about the symptoms of prostate cancer, visit online at www.cdc.gov/cancer/prostate/basic–info/symptoms/htm.

“If you have ever been scared by this, get to it before it gets too advanced, Vins said.

Recent research has shown that deaths from prostate cancer have decreased by 30% since the PSA test became available, urologists from the Oregon Clinic advise. The goal of screening for prostate cancer is to find cancers that may be at high risk for spreading if not treated, and to find them early before they spread.

The CDC advises that a PSA test may have several benefits. Knowing your PSA level can help your doctor determine your prostate cancer risk, and a very low PSA level can be encouraging. Finding prostate cancer early may make treatment easier, and even help save your life.

There is no preparation for the blood draw. Results of the screening are sent to the client’s health care provider who will may follow-up with a digital rectal exam. The PSA blood test does not replace the rectal exam performed at your physician’s office. Appointments are required for the screening.

For more information about the October 28 screening or to schedule an appointment, contact the Columbiana County Health Department, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday to Friday, at 330-424-0272.

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