In order to make prostate cancer screenings more accessible in Alabama, the Urology Health Foundation takes to the road on the weekends and travels across the State to carry out free prostate cancer screenings. No appointments or insurance are needed.
Since 2007, the Urology Health Foundation has had over 13,000 prostate cancer visits in 21 different Alabama counties. To see the Foundation's 2019 screening schedule, click here.
Urologists at Urology Centers of Alabama recommend that men be screened regularly for prostate cancer starting at age 40, particularly if you are African-American or have a family history of prostate cancer. Screening for prostate cancer involves a simple blood test and a physical exam.
1. PSA Blood Test: The PSA test is a blood test that detects a substance made by the prostate called prostate-specific antigen. Normally, PSA is found in the blood at very low levels. If the PSA reading is elevated, this can be a sign of cancer. However, PSA levels can be elevated due to other causes.
2. Digital Rectal Exam: In the digital rectal exam (DRE), a doctor puts a gloved finger into the rectum to feel the prostate gland, which lies next to the rectum. If the doctor can feel any bumps or hard places on the prostate, these might be due to cancer.
Neither of these screening tests for prostate cancer is perfect, but using the PSA test and DRE together will miss fewer cancers.
"We need to do a better job in Alabama in getting more men to have the simple PSA blood test. It is important that more men be aware of how common this disease can be. Our early detection and survival rates fall well below the national average. Regular check-ups and simple blood tests are ways prostate cancer can be detected. Early detection is key to survival...."
--U.S. Senator Jeff Sessions (Alabama)
What Does Screening Involve?
In its early stages, prostate cancer does not have any noticeable symptoms. If, however, a man with prostate cancer waits to act until he has symptoms, the cancer may already have grown outside the prostate and progressed to the point where it is rarely curable. Regular screening offers the best way to maximize a man's chances of discovering the cancer while it is still in its early--and most curable--stages. Screening for prostate cancer only takes about ten minutes of man's time, and it could save his life.
Where Can I Go For A Free Screening?
Urology Health Foundation