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Prisma Health encourages prostate screenings for men in South Carolina

Monday, September 27, 2021

COLUMBIA, S.C.—Prisma Health is reminding men to take a proactive approach and get screened to reduce their risk of prostate cancer during September, prostate cancer awareness month. According to the American Cancer Society, about one in eight men in the United States will be diagnosed with the disease during their lifetime. Prostate cancer is the most common cancer among men in South Carolina, and Prisma Health is encouraging men to learn more about the risks, preventive measures, and symptoms of the disease.

Daniel B. Rukstalis, MD“Prostate cancer doesn’t often show symptoms until it is well advanced, so the best way to catch it early is to get screened regularly,” said Daniel Brian Rukstalis, MD, urologic oncologist at Prisma Health Midlands Urology. “A prostate screening commonly includes lab work and a digital rectal exam, and it’s important for men over the age of 50 or those that are higher risk to get screened because it’s treatable. It’s generally a slow-growing disease so there are several treatment options to increase a man’s survival if it can be identified at an earlier stage.”

Factors that increase a man’s risk for prostate cancer include:
  • Age – older men are more at risk. About six in 10 cases of prostate cancer are found in men over the age of 65.
  • Race – African American men are twice as likely to develop prostate cancer.
  • Family history – having a sibling, father, uncle, or grandparent with prostate cancer increases risk.
  • Diet – men who eat a lot of red meat or high-fat dairy products appear to have a slightly higher chance of developing prostate cancer. These men also tend to eat fewer fruits and vegetables.
  • Exposure to agent orange – a chemical compound mainly used during the Vietnam war.

Men that do have factors that put them into the higher risk category, such as race or having a direct relative with prostate cancer, should talk to with their primary care doctor about early screenings while in their forties.

Prisma Health’s Community Health Men’s Clinic offers free prostate screenings every fourth Thursday from 5:30 p.m. to 7:15 p.m. The clinic is located at Prisma Health in Columbia, 1801 Sunset Drive. To register for a free screening, call 803-296-2273.

About Prisma Health

Prisma Health is a not-for-profit health company and the largest healthcare system in South Carolina. With nearly 30,000 team members, 18 hospitals, 2,947 beds and more than 300 physician practice sites, Prisma Health serves more than 1.2 million unique patients annually. Its goal is to improve the health of all South Carolinians by enhancing clinical quality, the patient experience and access to affordable care, as well as conducting clinical research and training the next generation of medical professionals. For more information, visit PrismaHealth.org.

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