Free screenings for prostate cancer to be offered

September 20, 1993|By Robert Hilson Jr. | Robert Hilson Jr.,Staff Writer

Concerned about the high rate of prostate cancer among men in the black community, Liberty Medical Center and 100 Black Men of Maryland will offer free prostate cancer screenings in the Baltimore area.

The screenings, which begin today at Liberty Medical Center in Northwest Baltimore, will be held at several locations throughout the metropolitan area for a year.

Everard O. Rutledge, president and CEO of Liberty Medical, said that prostate cancer is an often deadly disease for black men that can be cured with early detection, and treated effectively when detected later.

"One in nine African-American men get prostate cancer, and when they do they are twice as likely as white men to die from the disease," Mr. Rutledge said.

Prostate cancer is the most common form of cancer among black men in the United States and, after lung cancer, is the second most fatal. About 15,000 black men nationwide are diagnosed with prostate cancer yearly and about a third of them die from it.

Screenings and exams are important because men with prostate cancer often do not know they have the disease and it grows without symptoms for months or years. The chance of prostate cancer increases with age, and most cases occur after age 60.

Lonnie J. Carr, president of 100 Black Men of Maryland, a community service organization, said members will spread the word in black areas about the dangers of prostate cancer and the free screenings.

He said billboards, and civic and social events will be used to inform men.

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