In this year alone, the American Cancer Society estimates 238,590 new cases of prostate cancer will be diagnosed and 29,720 men will die of prostate cancer.
“It is disheartening to think about how many lives could be saved if only more men would get screened,” said Christopher Lodowsky, an independent urologist on the medical staff of Centegra Health System.
Centegra will offer a free men’s screening event that will include a prostate screening from 9 a.m. to noon Saturday, Sept. 14 at the Centegra Sage Cancer Center, 4305 Medical Center Drive in McHenry. Lodowsky will be one of the board-certified physicians performing the screening. Space is limited and registration is required. Register by calling 877-CENTEGRA (877-236-8347).
The screenings are intended for men age 50 or older with no present symptoms or history of prostate cancer, disease or surgery. Screenings are recommended at an earlier age for men with a family history of prostate cancer or African-Americans.
According to Lodowsky, common symptoms of prostate cancer include having difficulty passing urine, needing to urinate often, pain or burning during urination, blood in urine or semen, and frequent pain in the thighs, hips and lower back. Lodowsky encourages men experiencing these symptoms to inform their physician.
The prostate screening will include a digital rectal exam and a Prostate-Specific Antigen (PSA) blood test that measures the protein level produced in the prostate gland.
“It is never too early for detection or prevention,” said Lora Anderson, oncology dietitian and outreach coordinator with Centegra Health System. “Research shows that a healthy diet can keep you healthy.” According to the World Cancer Research Fund/American Institute for Cancer Research, foods with high levels of lycopene such as tomatoes, watermelon and grapefruit may protect against prostate cancer. Foods such as Brazil nuts, fish and sunflower seeds with high levels of selenium may also help.
In addition to the prostate screening, Centegra Health System will offer free skin screenings and oral, head and neck screenings. Space is limited and registration is required for these screenings as well.
Centegra Health System and the Gavers Community Cancer Foundation partner all year to raise awareness of the importance of early cancer detection and prevention. The Gavers Community Cancer Foundation has generously provided the funding to offer the men’s screening event. The Get Checked! program provides information on lifestyle changes and guidelines for routine screenings that can make a big difference in one’s life. The Gavers Cancer Resource Library is also featured at Centegra Sage Cancer Center in McHenry and offers a computer and a library inventory of books, journals and booklets. Information in the library is available in English and Spanish.
Centegra Hospital–McHenry is recognized as having one of a few cancer programs in the state to receive the Commission on Cancer (CoC) Outstanding Achievement Award from the American College of Surgeons Commission on Cancer. Additionally, all the Centegra Sage Cancer Center nurses are oncology certified.