NEW BRUNSWICK – In recognition of National Prostate Cancer Awareness Month in September, The Cancer Institute of New Jersey (CINJ) and its flagship hospital Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital (RWJUH) once again are teaming up to provide free prostate cancer screenings to men across the state on Sept. 18, 19 and 20. CINJ is a Center of Excellence at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School.
One in six men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer and it is the most frequently diagnosed cancer in men other than skin cancer, according to the American Cancer Society. That is why CINJ and RWJUH join forces each year to educate men and their families about this disease through the annual screening event, which over the past six years has seen nearly 3,000 men tested — 700 last year alone.
The event, now in its 14th year, has long been supported by local clergy and civic leaders who disseminate screening information throughout the community. Earlier this summer, PRAB (Puerto Rican Action Board) and Mount Zion AME Church in New Brunswick were honored for their ongoing dedication to educating the community about the event. According to Mariam Merced, director of RWJUH’s Community Health Promotion Program, many others are involved as well.
“From barber shops in New Brunswick to church groups in Elizabeth and other entities from throughout the region, so many men are being educated about the importance of screening,” she said. “And the message is viral. Many times, we see these men bring a friend or a relative back the following year. This translates into the potential for more lives to be saved.”
At the screening, men will receive a digital rectal exam and a prostate specific antigen (PSA) blood test, as well as prostate-specific literature, and have the opportunity to speak to a urologic oncologist from the Dean and Betty Gallo Prostate Cancer Center at CINJ. Assistance for Spanish speakers will be available.
“In New Jersey, 7,500 new cases of prostate cancer are expected to be diagnosed by year’s end with 720 deaths. With this simple screening method, we have an opportunity to detect potentially harmful cancers at an earlier and more curable stage,” said CINJ urologic oncologist Thomas L. Jang, MD, MPH, who heads the clinical component of the annual screening event.
“All men 40 and older, as well as men with a family history of prostate cancer and those most at risk – such as African American men – should discuss with their physician an appropriate screening schedule and at what age to begin. And especially if a man doesn’t have a family physician or health insurance, this free screening will provide men with an opportunity to better protect their prostate health,” noted Dr. Jang, who is also an assistant professor of surgery at UMDNJ-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School.
Registration is now open for the screenings, which run from 5 to 8 p.m. all three evenings at CINJ (195 Little Albany Street, New Brunswick) and are open to all men 40 and older. Limited free parking will be available. For those taking mass transit, CINJ is one block south of the New Brunswick train station. While the screenings are free, an appointment is necessary and can be made by calling 1-888-MD-RWJUH (1-888-637-9584). Additional information can be found at: http://www.cinj.org/prostatescreenings.
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