Prostate Screening

Free Screenings

Free prostate cancer screenings are available between 10:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. at these locations:

  • August 18, 2018 - Monroe County Health Department, (251) 575-3109
  • September 15, 2018 - Perry County Health Department, (334) 683-6153
  • October 6, 2018 - Hale County Health Department, (334) 624-3018
  • October 27, 2018 - Wilcox County Health Department, (334) 682-4515
  • November 17, 2018 - Marengo County Health Department, (334) 295-4205

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Diagnosis

There are two main screening tools that are used to detect prostate cancer.

  • Digital Rectal Exam (DRE) - The doctor inserts a lubricated, gloved finger into the rectum and feels the prostate through the rectal wall. The prostate is checked for hard or lumpy areas.
  • Prostate-specific Antigen (PSA) - A lab checks the level of PSA in a blood sample. The prostate makes PSA. A high PSA level is commonly caused by Benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) or prostatitis (inflammation of the prostate). Prostate cancer may also cause a high PSA level.

An abnormal test result may not mean you have prostate cancer. If either test result is abnormal, your doctor may recommend other tests to make a diagnosis.

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Symptoms

In its early stages, prostate cancer has no symptoms. Many men with prostate cancer may not have symptoms. Those who do have symptoms may experience any of the following:

  • An inability to urinate;
  • Weak or interrupted flow of urine;
  • The need to urinate frequently, especially at night;
  • Difficulty in emptying the bladder completely;
  • Pain or burning during urination and/or ejaculation;
  • Blood in the urine or semen; or
  • Pain in the back, hips, or pelvis that does not go away.

These symptoms may be caused by conditions other than prostate cancer, such as an infection or an enlarged prostate. If you have any of these symptoms, you should talk to your doctor right away.

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Talking With Your Doctor

As part of your yearly checkup, your family doctor should offer to test you for prostate cancer. Your doctor can check for prostate cancer before you have any symptoms.

When visiting your doctor, you may be asked about your personal and family medical history. It is important to talk openly with your physician about prostate changes and tests you should take.

There are different health care professionals that manage prostate health. They can address your concerns, answer your questions, and find the best care for you. These health care professionals include:

  • Family and general practitioner and internists
  • Urologists (specializes in diseases of the male reproductive and urinary tract systems)
  • Urologic oncologists (treat cancers of the male urinary and reproductive systems)
  • Radiation oncologists (use radiation therapy to kill cancer cells)
  • Medical oncologists (treat cancers with medications such as hormone treatments and chemotherapy)
  • Pathologists (find diseases by studying cells and tissues under a microscope)
  • Nurses and social workers

During an office visit, in addition to having a physical exam, you may receive one or both of the two main screening tests used in the diagnosis of prostate cancer.

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Healthcare Providers

The Alabama Department of Public Health Comprehensive Cancer Control Program created this website to capture prostate-health efforts across the state, to serve as a prostate health clearinghouse, and to promote discussions between patients and providers.

If you are a healthcare provider or agency that provides prostate services or an organization that promotes prostate cancer awareness, please contact us. We are currently collecting information about those who provide prostate services and the services they provide.

On June 1, 2010, the Alabama Public Health Training Network produced a live broadcast, "Bridging the Communication Gap Between Physicians and Patients: Understanding Functional Health Literacy Issues Related to Prostate Cancer," educating physicians and patients about the importance of clear communication when discussing health related issues. The video and handouts are available on demand.

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Partners

The Alabama Department of Public Health Cancer Prevention Program has partnered with three organizations in Alabama to offer free prostate cancer screenings to men aged 40-75 in various counties throughout the state.

These screenings are possible with funding through the Alabama State Legislature. For more information on the dates and times of the screenings, contact the persons listed below.

Urology Health Foundation
Sherry Wilson
3845 Independence Drive
Homewood, Alabama 35209
(205) 930-0920

Alabama Primary Health Care Association
Heather Reed
1345 Carmichael Way
Montgomery, Alabama 36106
(334) 271-7068

Jackson Hospital
Peter Frohmader
1725 Pine Street
Montgomery, AL 36106
(334) 293-6962

Central North Alabama Health Services, Inc.
Jeffromenia Rand
110 Walker Avenue
Huntsville, AL 35801
(256) 534-8659

Cancer Care Center of Montgomery
Daphne Guy
300 St. Luke Drive
Montgomery, AL 36117
(334) 273-8877

Mitchell Cancer Institute
Margaret Sullivan
1660 Springhill Ave.
Mobile, AL 36604

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Related Links

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Page last updated: July 10, 2018