ALTON, IL – Ironically, the best time to see a doctor is when you aren’t sick — so you can keep it that way. Early prostate cancer, for example, usually doesn’t cause any symptoms and is most often found through screening. That’s why Alton Memorial Hospital is offering a free men’s cancer screening from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 16, in the hospital’s new Duncan Wing.

Dr. Mark Woodson, medical oncologist, and Dr. Mark Allendorph, gastroenterologist, will be conducting the screenings for prostate and colorectal cancers, which includes a PSA blood test, digital rectal exam and hemoccult test. Men ages 50-70 or those at high risk can be screened for prostate and colorectal cancer. High-risk men include African-Americans and those with a family history of prostate cancer.

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Screenings are recommended on an annual basis. Space is limited for the Nov. 16 event and appointments are required by calling 800-392-0936. Visitors can use the hospital’s free valet service and should check in at the Duncan Wing information desk.

Prostate cancer can often be found early by testing the amount of prostate-specific antigen (PSA) in the blood. A digital rectal exam is another way to detect prostate cancer. A doctor inserts a gloved finger into the rectum to feel whether there are any bumps or hard areas in your prostate. That sometimes finds cancer in men with normal PSA levels. But the PSA and digital rectal exam work in tandem to more likely find any cancer at an early, more treatable stage, especially if you have routine yearly exams.

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