ANCHORAGE (KTUU) Providence Cancer Center is now providing free prostate cancer screenings to help men with early diagnosis.
Prostate Cancer is the second most common cancer among men, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
For some patients at Providence Cancer Center, the Cyberknife is a life saving tool.
Ronald Houston, a medical dosimetrist, administers treatment using the Cyberknife for diagnoses like Prostate Cancer.
Last October, Houston became a patient himself after discovering he had prostate cancer.
"It was probably more weird for my coworkers because they actually had to treat me um and obviously my coworkers they had to do my plan I didn't want anything to do with that," Houston said.
Houston credits his diagnosis to an annual screening he's received for the past 8 to 10 years due to his family history.
"Over the years my PSA had been slowly climbing, slowly escalating and last year after the PSA test it was above the accepted high norm so I talked to a radiation oncologist about the results of that," Houston said. "They sent me up to see one of the urologists here at Providence and got a biopsy and it came back positive."
Despite arguments about the accuracy of Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA) screening tests, urologists like Dr. Aaron Brown recommend all men between 55 and 70 with average risks get checked regularly.
For some men, Dr. Brown recommends getting started at age 40.
"If you are at a higher risk for developing prostate cancer, that is you have a family history of developing prostate cancer or African American men unfortunately carry a higher risk, they should consider having this testing done earlier in their life," Dr. Brown said.
If screened appropriately, Dr. Brown said men generally won't have any symptoms of the cancer, but weak streams during urination ro trouble emptying the bladder could be a sign of advanced cancer.
Houston said it was his screening that helped him understand his diagnosis and doing something about it.
"The more information you have, the better you can address the issues" Houston said.
Providence Cancer Center is currently offering free PSA screenings from September 12- 14 from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.
To schedule a screening, call 907-212-4799.