Monday, October 21, 2013
Men should be screened for prostate cancer
October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month and pink ribbons are everywhere. This is a great time to remind women to get their annual mammogram, and for the most part many of them follow through on this advice.
But let’s not forget that outside of skin cancer, prostate is the most common type of cancer found in American men, according to the American Cancer Society. One of every six men will get prostate cancer during his lifetime, compared to one in every eight women getting breast cancer.
For many years Backus has offered an annual free prostate cancer screening, and that will continue Saturday, Nov. 9, from 9 a.m. - 1 p.m. at Backus Hospital. However, only five men have signed up for appointments. And therein lies the problem — men don’t flock to get their prostate screenings. But they should.
The process is rather simple. Urologists Dr. Franklin Friedman and Dr. T. Casey McCullough volunteer their time to conduct the screening. A digital rectal exam is done, and blood is drawn for a PSA test.
If more men get prostate cancer than women get breast cancer, why have so few taken advantage of our free screening? I have noticed that the men are usually dragged in to their appointments by their wife or significant other. Come on men, don’t wait for a loved one to drag you by the ear! If you haven’t had one in the past year, call 860-889-8331, ext. 6381 for your appointment ... and take good care of yourself.
Alice Facente is a community education nurse for the Backus Health System. To comment on this column or others, visit the Healthy Living blog at www.backushospital.org/backus-blogs or e-mail Ms. Facente or any of the Healthy Living columnists at firstname.lastname@example.org.