Free prostate examinations offered Sept. 17-18 at UNC Hospitals' Urology Clinic

UNC Health Care urologists will offer free prostate examinations to members of the public from 1 p.m. to 7 p.m. Sept. 17 and 18.

Appointments are not required, but those interested are encouraged to make an appointment by calling (919) 966-1316. The prostate examinations will take place at UNC Hospitals' Urology Clinic, located on the second floor of N.C. Memorial Hospital.

Prostate cancer is the second leading cause of cancer deaths nationwide and the most common solid tumor in men, as reported by the Prostate Cancer Education Council, which estimates that more than 230,000 new cases of prostate cancer will be diagnosed this year.

"Prostate cancer, when detected early enough, is one of the most curable cancers," said Dr. Culley C. Carson, Chief of the Division of Urologic Surgery. "Early detection is key in the treatment of prostate cancer, as the symptoms may not be apparent until the disease has advanced significantly."

In particular, black men 40 years and older, white men with a family history of cancer who are 40 years and older and white men 50 years and older are encouraged to have prostate examinations.

The American Cancer Society has reported that most cases of prostate cancers occur in men older than age 50; 70 percent of these cases occur in men older than age 65. Black men and men who have a family history of prostate cancer appear at highest risk for the disease, according to the Prostate Cancer Education Council.

Possible symptoms include weak or interrupted flow of urine, inability to urinate or difficulty in beginning to urinate, need to urinate frequently, blood in urine or semen and continuing pain in the lower back, pelvis or upper thighs, the council has reported.

The UNC examinations are being conducted as part of National Prostate Cancer Awareness Week, Sept. 14-20. Dr. Carson said this is the 15th year the division has sponsored free prostate examinations.

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