Free screenings available as prostate cases, deaths continue to rise


MECHANICSBURG, Pa. (WHTM) – The death rates for most types of cancers are decreasing, but those for prostate cancer continue to rise.

The American Cancer Society predicts there will be nearly 192,000 new cases of prostate cancer in 2020 and more than 33,000 deaths.

The organization ZERO – The End of Prostate Cancer says this is something everyone needs to pay attention to.

“Oftentimes, it is the caregiver or the family member that is encouraging the male in their life to go and get screened,” said Patrice Brown, the vice president of patient programs and advocacy at ZERO – The End of Prostate Cancer.

The American Cancer Society says the number of men who will die from prostate cancer will be the highest it’s been in the last two decades, with an increase of 5% since last year.

“We think that the rise in prostate cancer rates is directly to the U.S. Preventative Services Task Force rating the PSA screening a ‘C,’ and what that means is that it’s not covered under health care without co-pay,” said Brown.

“There was a sort of division in the medical world in which the primary care doctors no longer used this test or saw value in this test, and so what we’re seeing now is this onslaught of men coming in,” said Dr. R. Scott Owens, the chief of urology at Pinnacle Health and a member of Urology of Central Pennsylvania.

That’s why Urology Central Pennsylvania is educating the public about the test and offering it for free.

“About 90% of men who have early stage prostate cancer don’t have symptoms, and that’s why we want to get men in for a baseline test at the age of 45 or 50,” said Dr. Owens.

ZERO – The End of Prostate Cancer says if prostate cancer is caught early, it has a 99% survival rate, and if it’s caught in advanced stage, it has a 30% survival rate.

Urology of Central Pennsylvania says it offers free prostate cancer screenings (PSA and DRE) for uninsured and under-insured men aged 40 and over who have not been screened within last year.

The screenings are available at multiple locations, including Harrisburg, Camp Hill, Millersburg and Newport. To schedule an appointment, call: Harrisburg 717-724-0720 and Camp Hill 717-763-1174.

ZERO – The End of Prostate Cancer offers resources for families battling the disease.

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