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Recent cancer screening for men encourages early detection

Rudy Martinez

GRMC phlebotomist, Danielle Padilla administers the prostate specific antigen blood test to State Representative Rudy Martinez while Prostate Support Group members Dave Schwantes and Bob Sainz offer their support. Over 100 men participated in the free testing offered to raise awareness of prostate cancer last Saturday.

Silver City, New Mexico, October 21, 2014: Last Saturday, over 100 men took a simple, easy blood test that assessed if they were at-risk for prostate cancer at Gila Regional Medical Center's Laboratory. The free screening was sponsored by the Grant County Prostate Support Group as part of their efforts to raise awareness of prostate cancer.

State Representative, Rudy Martinez participated in the testing and said, "This is a great service that the Prostate Support Group and Gila Regional does for our community, and I appreciate all of their efforts." This is the fourth year the support group has teamed up with GRMC Laboratory to offer the free prostate specific antigen (PSA) blood test to men.

GRMC Director of Laboratory Services, Ruben Layug Jr., MT(AMT/AAB), said, " We should all be thankful to the science of PSA screening for early detection of prostate cancer."

In Grant County, prostate cancer is the most prevalent cancer for men, and the second leading cause of cancer-related death. With early diagnosis and treatment, prostate cancer has a 99 percent survivorship according to the New Mexico Department of Health.

Fortunately, the death rate from prostate cancer has been falling for the last four years in Grant County, according to the National Cancer Institute and the Center for Disease Control.

Though there are no warning signs of prostate cancer, there are symptoms that may be caused by an enlarged prostate gland including: frequent need to urinate, especially at night; difficulty starting or stopping stream of urine; weak or interrupted urine stream; inability to urinate standing up; and blood in urine. Consult with your doctor if you have any of these symptoms.

Support Group Facilitator, Dave Schwantes said, "We want to thank all 107 men that participated in the screening; early detection means early treatment and saves lives. We would also like to thank GRMC and the Grant County Community Health Council for their continued support of our efforts."

The Grant County Prostate Support Group meets the third Wednesday of every month at 6:30 p.m. in the Gila Regional Medical Center's Conference Room, 1313 E. 32nd St. The group next meets on Wednesday, November 19, 2014. Se habla Español.

For more information contact Schwantes at (575) 388-2331.

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