MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - Registration for prostrate screenings are happening this week as part of men's health awareness month in September. Men ages 50 and older are urged to get their screenings and exams.
Dr. Neal Shore at the Atlantic Urology Clinics has spent the last 15 years of his career working on treatments for advanced prostate cancer. According to Dr. Shore, prostate cancer is the second-leading cancer-related death in men in the U.S. behind lung cancer. He says early detection is key to saving men from aggressive prostate cancer.
"We're living longer now," says Dr. Shore. "And so we don't want anyone to die of prostate cancer."
A prostate screening will include a simple blood test, which will look at the Prostate Specific Antigen. This protein gives doctors an indication of prostate disease abnormalities. Then you will answer a few questions about urinary symptoms. Finally, doctors will perform the digital rectal exam. Dr. Shore says it only takes 15 to 20 seconds and is painless.
After the exam, doctors will discuss any abnormalities in your results and can refer you to further treatment, if necessary. The blood work results will be mailed to you.
Doctors are targeting men who have family history of prostate cancer. So that would mean a dad, brother, uncle, or grandfather who has been diagnosed with prostate cancer or died from it. This family history puts you at direct risk for getting prostate cancer.
Dr. Shore says African American men are at an increased risk and need to take prostate cancer screenings seriously.
Men 50 years old and older are urged to schedule annual, routine screenings. This will give doctors good records of your health. Dr. Shore emphasizes that there is nothing you can lose from an annual screening.
"Not wanting to get the information, not wanting to get a 5cc blood test which gives us indication about your prostate health, and not getting a simple digital rectal exam – albeit awkward, but takes 15 seconds and has no downside – is what I describe as an 'ostrich syndrome,'" says Dr. Shore. "You want to put your head in the sand and not have any information, okay. But you have options through discussion. You have options to make a decision, an informed decision. Why wouldn't you do it? Why would you want to wait and be discovered to have a disease that is no longer curable? That's a real shame."
Grand Strand Health and Atlantic Urology Clinics are offering prostate screenings this week at different locations. Registration is required for the screenings. Call (843) 692-4444 to schedule an appointment between 6:00-7:30 p.m.
Below are the upcoming dates and locations:
Monday, September 14 at Carolina Health Specialists (4591 Socastee Blvd., Myrtle Beach)
Tuesday, September 15 at Atlantic Urology Clinics (823 82nd Pkwy., Myrtle Beach)
Wednesday, September 16 at Grand Strand Senior Care (4237 River Hills Drive, Little River)
The screening costs $20. It costs $15 for H2U members. Only cash or checks are accepted.