(RxWiki News) For 23 years, the third week in September has been designated “Prostate Cancer Awareness Week.” That’s when the Prostate Conditions Education Council (PCEC) was founded to give men access to free or low-cost prostate health screenings.
Today, after screening more than 5 million men around the world, the tradition continues this week – September 16-22, 2012.
The non-profit PCEC was started by 12 prostate cancer experts because they were diagnosing too many men with advanced prostate cancer.
“At the time PCEC was founded, nearly half of the diagnosed prostate cancer cases had spread beyond the prostate gland, greatly reducing chances for successful treatment,” the organization explained in a news release.
To change this, the group encourages early detection of prostate cancer and other conditions affecting the prostate.
Wendy Poage, MHA, the president of the Prostate Conditions Education Council,
told dailyRx News in a telephone interview, “We partner with hundreds and hundreds of hospitals physician practices around the country. Primarily urologists and some oncologists close down their practices early or stay late to do these screenings for free for the public,”
These visits with specialists include:
- Physical exams
- Enlarged prostate and erectile dysfunction analysis
- Tests for –
- Prostate-specific antigen (PSA) levels
- Testosterone levels
- Other blood tests
Men will also learn about new tests that can help diagnose and assess the aggressiveness of prostate cancer. These are called biomarker tests.
“While these scientific advancements can provide tremendous benefit, it’s also important for men to remember that a screening that shows an elevated PSA level is not a diagnosis,” said Poage. “And, with a prostate cancer diagnosis, immediate treatment is not always necessary. Sometimes active surveillance, or watchful waiting, can be the best course of action for a patient with a small, non-aggressive tumor.”
To learn where these screenings are taking place in your community, visit the links below.