Men who want to participate in Carroll County General Hospital's annual prostate cancer screening program in April will be required to schedule advance blood tests this month.
The hospital plans to require blood tests two weeks in advance of the examinations this year, to allow doctors to have lab results on hand when they examine the men, said Fran Miller, CCGH community education coordinator.
In its first year, 1992, the program screened 296 men and identified 33 who needed further treatment to determine whether they had cancer, benign tumors or some other medical problem, Ms. Miller reported.
"If we have a large response like we did last year, we will consider having [the program] more often," she said.
Urologists Reynaldo Madrinan, Farhad Sateri and Suresh Sidh will perform the examinations free. Participants will be charged a reduced $10 fee for blood tests. The usual charge is $35. The screenings are expected to take about 10 minutes.
Men interested in participating are asked to call CCGH at 857-6935 to pre-register for the blood tests and exams. Blood tests will be performed in the outpatient laboratory at the Billingslea Medical Building, Washington Road, Westminster, adjacent to the hospital. The examinations will be done at the hospital.
The blood tests, called prostate specific antigen tests, help to identify a protein that indicates prostate cancer may be present. National studies of patients have shown that the most accurate way to detect prostate cancer early is through a combination of the prostate specific antigen test and digital rectal exams.
Most at risk are men over 45, those with a family history of cancer and African-American men. Warning symptoms of prostate cancer include frequent or painful urination or a burning sensation; inability to urinate or weak or interrupted urine flow; or persistent pain in the back, hips, pelvis or thighs.