Early Detection of Prostate Cancer Saves Lives
It may surprise you to learn that prostate cancer is the second leading cause of death in American men, behind only lung cancer. It doesn’t have to be. With early detection, prostate cancer is very treatable. In fact, more than 3.1 million men have survived their diagnosis, thanks to screenings that led to early intervention.
To improve the health and longevity of our community, Southeast Georgia Health System will offer free prostate cancer screenings in Brantley, Camden, Glynn and McIntosh counties during Prostate Cancer Awareness Month this September.
The early stages of prostate cancer usually show no symptoms, which underscores the importance of screenings. Eventually, the disease can lead to symptoms such as frequent urination (especially at night), being unable to urinate, difficulty starting or stopping urination, weak or interrupted urine flow, painful or burning urination, erectile dysfunction, painful ejaculation, blood in urine or semen, and chronic pain or stiffness in the lower back, hips or upper thighs. Prostate cancer can also numb or weaken the legs or feet or cause a loss of bladder or bowel control.
The key to defeating prostate cancer is early detection. “Statistics show that if found and treated early, the relative survival rate for prostate cancer is quite high. In fact, if the cancer is localized, meaning it has not spread beyond the prostate, the five-year survival rate is nearly 100 percent. This proves that screenings save lives,” says David Kranc, M.D., Ph.D., a board-certified urologist at Southeast Georgia Physician Associates–Urology.
The Health System’s free screenings include a prostate-specific antigen (PSA) blood test. This test detects elevated proteins produced by the prostate. A physician will review the PSA results to see if additional tests are needed.
Risk factors for prostate cancer include:
- Being 50 or older
- Being African American
- Family history
- Having the BRCA1 or BRCA2 gene
- Having Lynch syndrome, a form of colorectal cancer
- High consumption of calcium (supplements or dietary)
“If cancer is found, there are many treatment options offered at the Health System, from ‘watchful waiting’ for slow-growing cancers, to surgery, radiation, chemotherapy or immunotherapy. We also have CyberKnife, an advanced radiation therapy that directly target cancer cells without harming surrounding healthy tissue,” says Kranc.
“For patients with localized prostate cancer and who are a surgical candidate, we use the da Vinci® Robotic Surgical System which offers patients a number of significant benefits over traditional open surgery,” explains Kranc. “Survival, continence, and potency rates have been excellent in those undergoing surgery using the Robot.”
Men age 40 and older, or those with any risk factors, are encouraged to participate in the free screening. Test results will be mailed to each participant. Due to COVID-19, appointments and social distancing are required to help keep everyone safe. The screening schedule is as follows:
Tuesday, Sept. 8, 4–7 p.m.
Brantley Family Medicine Center, 21300 Hwy. 82, Ste. C, Waynesville
McIntosh Family Medicine Center, 1022 Miller Lane SW, Darien
Wednesday, Sept. 9, 4–7 p.m.
Southeast Georgia Health System Camden Campus, 2000 Dan Proctor Dr., St. Marys
Thursday, Sept. 10, 4–7 p.m.
Southeast Georgia Health System Outpatient Care Center, 2500 Starling St., Brunswick
For more information or to make an appointment, call 855-ASK-SGHS (855-275-7447).
About Southeast Georgia Health System
Southeast Georgia Health System is a not-for-profit health system comprised of two acute care hospitals, two long term care facilities, three immediate care centers, five family medicine centers and numerous employed physician practices. The Health System has multiple outpatient specialty care centers, including the only CyberKnife® M6 Program in Georgia, and a Cancer Care Center accredited by the American College of Surgeons Commission on Cancer. The Health System is part of Coastal Community Health, a regional affiliation between Baptist Health and Southeast Georgia Health System forming a highly integrated hospital network focused on significant initiatives designed to enhance the quality and value of care provided to our contiguous communities. For more information, visit sghs.org.