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 Author: crow
PostPosted: Thu Sep 20, 2012 9:28 am 
Prostate cancer is the most prevalent cancer, and the second leading cause of cancer-related death, in Grant County men. Early diagnosis and treatment of prostate cancer has a 99 percent survivorship, according to the New Mexico Department of Health. The Grant County Prostate Support Group wants to help more men receive early screenings to save lives. To raise awareness, the Support Group is hosting free prostate specific antigen (PSA) blood tests on Saturday (October 6, 2012) from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Gila Regional Medical Center Laboratory, 1313 E. 32nd St.

This is the second year the support group has teamed up with the GRMC Laboratory to offer the free blood test. Last year, 80 men took part in the screening, half of whom had never been tested before. GRMC Laboratory Director, Patricia Montgomery says, “Lives were saved that day, because some of the gentlemen didn’t know they had elevated levels, and we were able to inform them thanks to the screening.”

Walt Hanson knows the importance of early screening. In 1997, an annual PSA test led Hanson’s doctor to recommend a biopsy, and later Hanson was diagnosed with cancer. Hanson says, “Thanks to an early diagnosis my treatment was successful, and 16 years later I’m still here.”

An annual physical, also, saved Herb Trejo’s life, “A routine blood test showed I had a high PSA level.” Trejo followed up with a biopsy and received early treatment for prostate cancer. Now a member of the Prostate Support Group, Trejo says, “Grant County and New Mexico have a very high rate of prostate cancer, and our group wants to raise awareness of the importance of early screenings.”

Also a support group member, Hanson says, “Early detection saved our lives, and it can save the lives of other men.”

The Grant County Prostate Support Group has been in existence for over a decade. Originally founded by prostate cancer survivor Dr. Neal Apple, the group was revived by Dave Schwantes after attending a cancer support group facilitator training offered by the Grant County Community Health Council to expand cancer support in southwest New Mexico. A six-year grant from the New Mexico Department of Health to the Health Council helped fund numerous cancer and other related support groups in Catron, Grant, Luna and Hidalgo Counties.

The Prostate Support Group is an independent chapter of Us TOO International. The group meets the third Wednesday of every month at 6:30 p.m. in the Gila Regional Medical Center’s Conference Room. The Support Group is open to anyone concerned, diagnosed, or who has survived prostate cancer. The group also meets for a monthly family breakfast.

The blood test will be available Saturday (October 6, 2012) from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the GRMC Laboratory, 1313 E. 32nd St. The screening is made possible by a partnership with the Prostate Support Group, Gila Regional Medical Center, and the Grant County Community Health Council. No appointment is necessary. Falsely elevated PSA can be caused by recent sexual activity or ejaculation, so participants are asked to refrain for 24 hours prior to the blood test. For more information call the Health Council at 388-1198. The Prostate Support Group next meets on Wednesday, October 17, 2012, at 6:30 p.m. in the GRMC’s Conference Room.

# # #

For Immediate Release
Title: Blood tests for men free on Saturday
Silver City, New Mexico, September 28, 2012

Kendra Milligan
Public Relations Liaison
Grant County Community Health Council
Phone: (575) 388-1198


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