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Prostate cancer screenings offered for free at local hospital

Prostate screenings

Doctors Hospital is offering free screenings for prostate cancer this week. (WRDW-TV / Sept. 15, 2011)

News 12 at This Morning / Thursday, Sept. 15, 2011

AUGUSTA, Ga. -- Prostate cancer is the No. 2 cancer killer for men. This month is prostate cancer awareness month and one hospital is providing free prostate cancer screenings to anyone who walks through their doors.

The screenings at Doctors Hospital start at 7 a.m. It's a test that only takes a few minutes and can save lives.

William Kemple didn't want to take any chances with the second leading cause of cancer death affecting men his age.

"If you get these things early -- unfortunately my two brothers did not -- and that's the reason it caught up with them, did a lot of damage including death," said Kemple, who was diagnosed with prostate cancer.

At age 55 he started getting screened for prostate cancer. Over the years, his results started showing signs of cancer.

Lance Danko, director of oncology services at Doctors Hospital, said often times prostate cancer shows up without any symptoms in the early stages.

"That's why it's so important to get screened," Danko said.

Kemple remembers his diagnosis: "They did find a small amount of cancer, which is like having a small amount of dynamite in your body."

After eight weeks of radiation, Kemple was cancer free. Now he's urging other men to get screened for prostate cancer this week.

"All it did was take some of my time. No pain, no inconvenience, it was a very easy experience to got through," Kemple said.

Since there are no signs or symptoms, catching it early gives doctors a head start in treating the cancer before it spreads. Organizers of the screening clinic say so far not many people have taken advantage of the free test.

"It would cost a significant amount if someone paid for the test out of pocket, but this week it's free," Danko said.

It's a screening process that would cost you or your insurance company around $145, but the price of catching it early for cancer survivors like Kemple is priceless.

If you have a father or husband over the age of 50, Doctors Hospital wants you to tell them about the free screening. It's takes place from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. today through Saturday. Just go to the central registration office or the hospital's lab if it's after hours or on the weekend. No appointment are necessary.


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